The EMM Bait-and-Switch at 199 Bowery; Finale and Bow Open

Posted on: November 12th, 2012 at 6:09 am by
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We have to hand it to EMM Group for systematically hoodwinking the neighborhood into its Lower Eastpacking presence at 199 Bowery. In January 2012, company brass appeared before Community Board 3 and revealed plans for a restaurant concept that would occupy both levels and serve food all hours. There would be a bakery and jazz performance in the basement, but specifically with no promoted events. Yeah, right. Boy, how things have changed…

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Now the joint seems to have wrangled three liquor licenses from the State Liquor Authority (CP, not OP)! The General will serve a full menu of “Modern Asian” cuisine on the ground level, while a stowaway space in the rear houses Pascha joint-venture Finale; and then there’s Bow in the bunker (also with “light bites”) which neighbors now dub “Crash Douche.” EMM had agreed to no dancing on the ground floor as stipulation, but this contradicts that agreement.  Or as one reader claims, Finale “was a completely stealth operation kept secret from CB3 and the community at large.”

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Finale and Bow both opened to the public over the weekend. Here’s an interior shot of the former:

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[Photo: @NYdoorman]Just to refresh your recollection, the following were listed as stipulations in the final motion [PDF] to approve by Community Board 3. Can you count how many were broken?

To deny the application for a full on‐premise liquor license for Bakers Dozen Associated LLC, for the premise located at 199 Bowery, unless the applicant agrees before the SLA to make as conditions of its license the following signed notarized stipulation that

1) it will operate as a full‐service restaurant, consisting of Latin Asian fusion small plates, on the ground floor and basement with a bakery café on the ground floor, both floors serving food during all hours of operations,
2) the hours of operation of the restaurant will be 5:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M. all days and the hours of operation of the bakery will be from 6:00 A.M. to 12:00 A.M. all days,
3) it will play ambient background music only, consisting of recorded music in the bakery and recorded music and DJs in the restaurant on the ground floor, and recorded music, DJs and live music, specifically live jazz, in the basement but will not have promoted events or any event at which a cover fee will be charged,
4) patron dancing will be in the basement only if permitted by law,
5) it will close any façade doors and windows at 10:00 P.M. every night,
6) it will not have a standup or service bar in the bakery which, along with its kitchen for baking, will span the entire front façade, and
7) it will employ security personnel Tuesdays through Saturdays always and other days as needed and otherwise operate consistent with the attached security plan.

And more directly from the moutpiece of EMM, via the Post:

“We really wanted to do multiple concepts in one space,” Remm says of 199 Bowery. “And the neighborhood is definitely up-and-coming. It’s similar to the Meatpacking District.

Meanwhile, residents of 199 Bowery are pissed by the lack of respect and contempt from EMM, even at the highest levels. For instance, continued work onsite well past the deadlines of the DOB midnight work variance granted last month. Word on the street is the building is starting to organize for a fight…

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