Notes from CB3: Carmellini Approved for ‘Bar Primi’ on the Bowery

Posted on: February 11th, 2014 at 5:34 am by

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325 Bowery, future home of Bar Primi

Last night was part one of the two-night SLA experience for Community Board 3 this month. Here’s a taste of some of the proceedings…

Bar Primi, 325 Bowery

The biggest news of the evening was that Andrew Carmellini, Josh Pickard, and Luke Ostrom were unanimously approved for OP liquor by the subcommittee for their Bar Primi “casual pasta” concept at 325 Bowery. This, of course, was previously home to Peels until its closure last month. We learned that this A-team plans to keep the same interior configuration as its predecessor. Board members, however, were a bit concerned with the eventual appearance of a sidewalk cafe, noting that Peels had a problem controlling the crowding. Ultimately, it was their experience that allowed for easy passing.

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Andrew Carmellini and Josh Pickard before CB3

Red Velvet Lounge, 174 Rivington Street

This applicant was up for a renewal of its liquor license, and easily drained the first hour of the meeting. The club at 174 Rivington Street carries a history of complaints from neighbors, including purported after-hours partying behind shuttered gates, hosting transgender stripper events (advertised), and overall noise from within. Apparently the nightspot has been closed the last couple months for “repairs,” since the applicant hopes to sell off the assets sometime in the near future. So, maintaining a liquor license was imperative. We heard from the building owner of 35 years who was thrilled to have Red Velvet as tenant, and prided himself on working with both the residents and the business for an acceptable resolution; then there were the quality-of-life complaints from up above. The committee voted to renew the license, but with strict new stipulations like better soundproofing measures, no use of residential hallways by the bar, and no live music.

Leftfield, 87 Ludlow Street

Also up for renewal was Leftfield, the bar-venue at 87 Ludlow Street. In this instance, the owner was operating contrary to his stated method of operation. Stipulations signed a couple years ago said no live music, but there are constantly performances there. In addition, 22 complaints were lodged with 311 in the last year; the owner refuted that saying those calls were from one building dweller (reportedly a foreign student). Nevertheless, concessions were ultimately made, and the applicant was renewed with additional stipulations, but specifically no more band performances.

Mama’s Bar, 34 Avenue B

The biggest hurdle to this liquor license renewal was the noise factor. Even though affected residents did not appear, two board members and Susan Stetzer all corroborated the outrageous noise levels. Some of the problems cited were patrons smoking (and screaming) outside the cordoned area, ear-splitting volume spilling out of the club, and lack of action by bouncers to manage the sidewalk situation.

To win approval for renewal, the owners agreed to install sound-baffling curtains, a seasonal canvas vestibule, and keeping music at “ambient levels” while the windows are open. Furthermore, they’ll school bartenders in properly maintaining the volume controls.

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