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'Secret Restaurant' Hudson Clearwater Hit with CB2 Liquor License Denial

By Andrea Swalec | October 19, 2012 9:13am

SOHO — It's no secret that Community Board 2 is not a fan of the West Village restaurant Hudson Clearwater.

The board voted down a liquor license renewal application Thursday night for the restaurant, which opened in 2009 and keeps itself a "secret"  by having no signage or obvious sign of its existence from the street.

With its advisory vote, CB2 is urging the State Liquor Authority to reject the 447 Hudson St. eatery's application because neighbors have complained about noise and said the seasonal American restaurant's owners allegedly operate a backyard garden later than the agreed-upon 10 p.m.

Board member Sasha Greene, who lives nearby, said the unmarked green door on Morton Street that serves as the down-low restaurant's main entrance causes confusion in the area.

"People are wandering the street all the time, trying to find the place and asking 'Do you know where the secret restaurant is?'" Greene said.

Board member and local resident Bob Ely said Hudson Clearwater's often-unlocked door is dangerous.

"People can climb over the fences into other people's backyards. It's a severe security risk," he said.

Chris Brandon, 31, one of Hudson Clearwater's four owners, said the restaurant will make its case to the state SLA.

"We're going to push our renewal through to the SLA," he said, noting that he thought a petition with 167 signatures of support should have outweighed the "five people" who complained about noise.

"Why should [our supporters'] voices count for any less?" he said.