Breaking: Soho House Approved for Liquor License

Posted on: October 22nd, 2013 at 1:18 pm by
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The battle of Soho House on the Lower East Side has just ended. After more than six months of community wrangling, the State Liquor Authority finally heard the application today for the so-called “Ludlow House” at 139 Ludlow. The proceeding took over an hour (including an executive recess), ultimately resulting in an approval for the liquor license.

Community Board 3 denied the liquor license last May.

Club co-owner Nick Jones and their lawyer Donald Bernstein represented the applicant, and argued yet again the “public benefits” this members-only establishment would bring. The main argument was the notion that having Ludlow House would be a boon to local business due to some added daytime foot traffic. Also, that they planned to donate the basement space to the Educational Alliance for public use.

Opposition, including neighbors and the LES Dwellers, again rolled out the defense that Ludlow House would bring in hundreds more people to a block that’s already plagued with nightlife issues. Another opponent who lives next door at 139 Ludlow mentioned that his window is four feet from the proposed roof deck.

In the end, the main sticking point with the full board was the open rooftop and noise issue there. So the SLA instead proposed harsh hours of 9am to 6pm and absolutely no liquor consumption outside. Soho House agreed to these trimmed hours for the roof, with the understanding that they could return again in a couple years to address the issue.

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