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Canz to Be Squeezed by Community Board

By Mary Johnson | December 8, 2011 3:54pm
The restaurant chain has garnered much attention for poaching servers and bartenders from rival chain Hooters.
The restaurant chain has garnered much attention for poaching servers and bartenders from rival chain Hooters.
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DNAinfo/Mary Johnson

MURRAY HILL — Months after the Hooters-style beer and buxom waitress chain Canz a Citi Roadhouse opened without a liquor license and the blessing of its Murray Hill neighbors, members of Community Board 6 have requested a sit-down with the owner.

Canz, at Third Avenue between East 27th and East 28th streets, raised eyebrows when it opened in October without a single visit to the Community Board and without submitting an application for a liquor license to the State Liquor Authority, as first reported by DNAinfo.

Two months later, the SLA is allowing the bar to remain open while it investigates, and the Community Board has asked for a face-to-face meeting with the bar's owner.

“We’re requested that they come and meet with the community board as soon as possible,” said Mark Thompson, chair of Community Board 6.

Thompson said the board would like the bar owners to explain why the group wasn't consulted about the restaurant's opening and to address any community concerns.

“They need to be a part of the community and be a good neighbor,” he said, adding that the meeting wouldn’t involve passing any resolutions.

A few days before Canz opened, one of the owners, Steven Ferraro, said that "we wanted this to be a surprise to the neighborhood" and that construction crews intentionally covered up the windows with plywood to conceal the interior prior to opening, according to the New York Post.

As of yet, Thompson said he hasn’t yet heard back from Canz.

Ferraro said Thursday that he was not aware of the Community Board's request and therefore could not comment on whether Canz representatives planned to attend.

Jeanne Repetti, the chain's general manager, said that the partners have been trying to get on the calendar for either February or March to "see if [the board members] had any issues that they wanted to address or anything that they wanted to bring to the table.”

She said she did not know if a specific date had been determined.

A spokesman for the SLA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday, but over the past several weeks, the agency has said that the investigation is ongoing. There has been no word on any potential penalties that could be involved.

In the meantime, Canz has been able to operate as normal, serving up a full menu of cocktails and a happy hour that offers cans of domestic ale for just $3.

On Wednesday, the restaurant tweeted: “2NITE come to CANZ OF MANHATTAN- KARAOKE every WEDNEZDAY at 10pm! get KEGGED at CANZ.-after 5pm! $45 HEINEKEN mini KEGZ $3.50 HEINEKEN CANZ!”

Thompson said that the community board office has not received any complaints about the new neighborhood establishment as of yet.

“They seem like they’re actually fairly quiet,” Thompson said. “So hopefully it will stay quiet.”