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British Gastropub Replacing Rowdy Uncle Mike's Promises to be Good Neighbor

Uncle Mike's, 57 Murray St., has closed, and a new British gastropub hopes to replace it.
Uncle Mike's, 57 Murray St., has closed, and a new British gastropub hopes to replace it.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

TRIBECA — Uncle Mike's is closed and it's not coming back.

That was the message Brian McLaughlin, the new owner of the shuttered bikini bar at 57 Murray St., had for concerned residents this week, as he presented his plans to open a family-friendly British gastropub in the formerly rowdy space.

McLaughlin promised that his new bar and restaurant, called Cricketer's Arms, would be a better neighbor than Uncle Mike's, which was repeatedly cited for underage drinking. Some women in the neighborhood had also complained they felt uncomfortable walking past Uncle Mike's because the patrons leered and jeered at them from inside.

"That's Uncle Mike's customers, not my customers," McLaughlin told concerned residents at a Community Board 1 meeting Wednesday night.

But some residents worried that the same clientele would find its way back to the bar, which is next to the New York Dolls gentleman's club.  

"This might be the perfect opportunity to eliminate a bar on Murray Street as opposed to giving yet another [bar] the opportunity to open up," said Loretta Thomas, who has lived on Murray Street since 1981 and said the Uncle Mike's patrons had bothered her 19-year-old daughter. "We don't need another bar on Murray Street."

McLaughlin, who owns Dark Horse at 17 Murray St., The Irish American at 17 John St. and Liam's at 90 Fulton St., and his business partner Scott Robertson, who owns The Churchill, an English pub in Flatiron, reassured the residents that Cricketer's Arms will focus on food, not drink, with a menu including freshly baked scones, homemade turkey sausage and lamb curry.

The vibe will be similar to The Churchill, with British-themed décor as well as food, Robertson said.

"We created something quite unique to New York," Robertson said. "We would hopefully like to bring that Downtown."

Cricketer's Arms will have 20 seats at a communal bar, designed more for dining than drinking, along with 44 seats at tables, McLaughlin said. The only live music will come from a piano that will be open for any of the diners to play.

"People can come along and play and show off and impress people," McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin and Robertson applied to stay open until 4 a.m. seven days a week but agreed to scaled-back hours of 1 a.m. on weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends, based on the community's concerns. They also agreed to keep the pub's windows closed at all times, though they can return and ask for that restriction to be lifted once they've been operating for several months.

CB1's TriBeCa Committee approved the license with those restrictions, and the full board will vote on it July 24. The community board's opinion is advisory, and the State Liquor Authority will make the final decision.

McLaughlin and Robertson hope to open Cricketer's Arms as soon as later this summer.