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British Gastropub Aims to Replace Shuttered Bikini Bar in TriBeCa

TRIBECA — Bikinis are out and British fare is in.

A British gastropub is replacing the shuttered Uncle Mike's bikini bar at 57 Murray St. in TriBeCa, new owner Brian McLaughlin revealed Monday.

Called Cricketer's Arms, the new bar and restaurant will serve English favorites like bangers and mash and will offer a calmer atmosphere than Uncle Mike's, a rowdy construction worker hangout that the city tried to shut down because of underage drinking violations.

"We're going for a more family-oriented old English pub," said McLaughlin, who was not affiliated with Uncle Mike's. "We want to see mothers and strollers as well as guys drinking beer."

Even so, the new bar will be located next door to the New York Dolls gentleman's club.

McLaughlin, a native of Ireland, already owns three Downtown taverns — Dark Horse at 17 Murray St., The Irish American at 17 John St. and Liam's at 90 Fulton St. — but he said Cricketer's Arms will be more focused on food.

A preliminary menu for the 64-seat eatery features Cornish game hens, homemade turkey sausages, lamb curry and fried Brussels sprouts with bacon, McLaughlin said. He plans to encourage locals to drop in during the day by offering cappuccinos and scones.

The restaurant's vibe will be similar to The Churchill, an English pub in Flatiron, whose owner Scott Robertson is a partner at Cricketer's Arms, McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin is applying for a liquor license to stay open until 4 a.m. seven days a week, and he is concerned that he could run into some roadblocks because of the problems Uncle Mike's had with the State Liquor Authority and the community.

Uncle Mike's closed at the end of June when its liquor license expired. The bar had pending violations for serving alcohol to minors and drew complaints from neighbors, particularly women, who said they felt uncomfortable walking past the bar's jeering patrons.

"That place was a terrible disgrace to Downtown," McLaughlin said. "It was an eyesore."

McLaughlin said he could open Cricketer's Arms in as little as four weeks if his liquor license comes through, but he said his lawyer told him it could take longer because of the venue's history.

Community Board 1's Tribeca Committee will take an advisory vote on Cricketer's Arms' liquor license at a 6:30 p.m. meeting July 11 at 49-51 Chambers St., room 709.