Nightlife Concerns Dominate Meet-and-Greet with New 7th Precinct CO Steven Hellman

Posted on: July 9th, 2015 at 5:00 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Captain Steven Hellman, July 2015

Here he is, your new Commanding Officer of the 7th Precinct, Captain Steven Hellman. So long, Captain Simonetti.

Hellman’s appointment to the post meant a break with tradition – a community council meeting during the sweltering month of July. The climate of the meet-and-greet was cordial, yet sweaty. Serious swamp-ass conditions, thanks to a busted air conditioning system.

Don West, under fire for stifling the community session back in May, introduced the CO to the audience of neighbors, local politicians, and Community Board 3 (Susan Stetzer and Gigi Li). His experience in similar areas was championed. Hellman also spoke of his resume, noting that his work in the 9th Precinct (East Village) with its 600 liquor licenses dutifully prepared him to tackle the over-saturation around the Lower East Side. The speech felt like a presidential campaign.

But the pleasantries and back-slapping was brief, quickly getting down to the brass tacks. Chiefly, nightlife. A strong showing from the LES Dwellers voiced concerns about problem establishments in Hell Square that aren’t playing by the rules. Epstein’s Bar, in particular, was singled out for its lack of valid Certificate of Occupancy and debt of some $60,000 to the city for various DOB violations. The block association implored the new CO to dispatch the cabaret team to the list of bars without such certificates, since, they argue, the State Liquor Authority takes these infractions more seriously than community complaints.

Another issue raised was the hour of mass exodus, that magical time between 4am and 5am. This is when lots of bad shit happens, and, the LES Dwellers argue, the oversight simply ceases. Hellman, for his part, promised that he’ll conduct of drive-by of a Hell Square weekend night.

We’d be remiss not to mention the residents of Samy Mahfar’s 102 Norfolk Street who were in attendance. Their concern before the 7th Precinct was more to do with the Back Room club in the basement and its allegedly illegal operation, and not so much the actions of their infamous landlord.

Recent Stories

‘Caribea’ Grill Readies Space Left Vacant by Domino’s on Allen Street

Ever since Domino’s ditched its decades-old Allen Street location three years ago, the commercial space has been a vacancy consistently peddled on the market. Now, a new concept is a-knockin. Caribea is as it sounds – a fast casual pan-Caribbean grill. The restaurant at 203 Allen will seat fourteen tables and a stand-up bar, for […]

The Projects Jockeying for the $20M Chinatown Revitalization Funds

Several months ago, Governor Hochul announced a $20 million grant in the form of the Downtown Revitalization initiative (DRI).  Some forty sites around Chinatown were identified during the DRI process, which is led by a Local Planning Committee of community representatives and supported by State agency staff and a consultant team. That list was ultimately […]

Displaced Chinatown Business Returns Months After Devastating Fire

Four months after a deadly fire knocked out 78 Mulberry Street, one of its businesses returned to the scene. Ewa Trading Company reopened in its former Chinatown home earlier this week. The store had spent some of the interim displacement period selling from a shuttered Vietnamese restaurant a few paces north. The two-alarm fire broke […]

EDC Sues Essex Restaurant for Back Rent over Former Essex Market Lease

Three years removed from its relocation across Rivington Street, the city filed suit against the Essex restaurant for alleged unpaid rent. The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) sued Essex for nearly $60,000 in unpaid back rent on the former Essex Market building it previously occupied, according to the lawsuit filed Monday. The city entity claims that […]

Exile on Orchard Street: Tenement Museum Recreates Exhibits During Renovations

The Tenement Museum is amidst a preservation project at 97 Orchard Street, but will continue its programming with replicas not too far away. The 1863-era tenement this past Sunday embarked on “vital” restoration work to preserve its walls, floors, roof, as well as the installation of a new HVAC system that will provide improved climate […]