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Outdoor Champagne Bar Planned for Lincoln Center

By Emily Frost | February 12, 2015 3:05pm
 Lincoln Center wants to put a new outdoor bar within Hearst Plaza. 
Lincoln Center Bar
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LINCOLN SQUARE — The bottles will be popping at Lincoln Center this summer. 

The performing arts center is planning to add a Champagne bar to its outdoor public plaza after hosting a series of successful bar events there last summer, representatives told Community Board 7 Wednesday.

"We want people to be able to come to campus, see the trees, see the fountain, have a glass of Champagne," said Alaina Williams, a restaurants manager at Lincoln Center.

The performing arts center wants to convert public space within Hearst Plaza, along the back side of Avery Fisher Hall, into the bubbly bar, they said.

Lincoln Center is requesting to use half of the roughly 50 feet of clearance between the back of Avery Fisher Hall and the trees there, known as the Barclays Capital Grove, Williams explained.

The details of whether the bar would be self service, table service, or a combination of both is still being worked out, she added. 

Over the summer, Lincoln Center held a few one-night-only bar events in the outdoor public space that were successful enough that officials want to make it a permanent feature, Williams said.

Lincoln Center staffers envision about four tables and 16 chairs, as well as a few high-top tables, but they haven't decided the exact seating numbers yet, they said. 

While some CB7 members who heard of the plan Wednesday thought the idea sounded like a wonderful amenity that would be popular with locals and patrons, others worried it would take away too much from the public space.

"It was negotiated into the whole [agreement] that there would be a lot of public space. We don’t want to start chipping away at that," said board member Sue Robotti. 

Williams assured the board that people would be allowed to sit in the chairs without ordering food or drinks. They would even be allowed to bring in their own food and drink, with signage indicating that the seating is public. 

CB7's Business and Consumer Issues committee agreed to approve the plan, pending a measuring of the dimensions of the proposed area to ensure there's enough space to walk around the bar. 

Lincoln Center's plan to add two new indoor bars that will be set up during performances — one in Avery Fisher Hall and another in Alice Tully Hall — was also approved by the committee. 

The full board will vote on all three bars at its March 3 meeting.