Whynot Coffee and Rouge Wine Bar Denied Licenses by the SLA

Posted on: February 12th, 2014 at 6:03 am by


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Despite its various efforts to obtain a full liquor license, Lower East Side newcomer Whynot Cafe at Orchard Street was officially denied by the State Liquor Authority last month.

Whynot had first applied to Community Board 3 for full liquor back in October, but the advisory committee asked they withdraw and return for wine and beer instead. Owner Emil Stefkov acquiesced, but still went directly to the SLA for the full monty (the subsequent wine application was denied by CB3). Those efforts proved futile, and the state denied it; however, they granted a tavern wine license due to the limited sale of food on premises.

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Meanwhile, Rouge Wine Bar was denied a wine and beer license, seemingly a first for the SLA, as these privileges are usually just rubber-stamped. (They had also been denied by CB3 for lack of proprietor experience and the fact that 94 Rivington was previously unlicensed) Apparently the kicker was that bar was allegedly serving alcohol before the paperwork was finalized. This was enough for Chairman Rosen to deny.

In a public statement regarding both applicants, the LES Dwellers block association noted:

The denial by the NY State Liquor Authority for Whynot was significant and extremely important victory for our community. It supported our arguments that the public convenience and advantage is not served with the granting of another full liquor license with late night closing hours in our community.

NY SLA is finally taking notice.

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