Fire-Felled Black Crescent Held Hostage by DOB and Con Edison

Posted on: August 26th, 2015 at 5:10 am by
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If you still miss Black Crescent on Clinton Street, blame the alphabet soup of city agencies. The seafood restaurant is itching to get back in the game seven months after a basement fire sidelined the business. Yet, it’s held hostage by the Department of Buildings and Con Edison for the sign-off on gas.

In an update, we are told that their Limited Alteration Application permit – required to modify/add plumbing or gas line – is still pending. There has apparently been lots of back-and-forth with the city the last few months regarding the proper paperwork. “What the DOB is objecting to ranges from the reasonable (plans for how our new appliance is ventilated) to the absurd (our form was not printed on double-sided paper),” co-owner Michael Reynolds tells us in an email. “Even with an additional paid team [of expediters] working with us, we still have been unable to get any traction with DOB.”

Black Crescent re-filed for the LAA permit on Monday, and should hear an update in a week’s time.

Attracting the attention (and action) of the DOB is more difficult these days, and Black Crescent is suffering. It’s common knowledge that both DOB and Con Edison are totally backlogged thanks to new protocols in the wake of explosions in both Harlem and on 2nd Avenue. Just look at what B&H Dairy went through. This is only the beginning, though. Even after the DOB hurdles are cleared, Con Edison must still give its blessings, and the Department of Health needs to reinstate the food service license.

“We had already been inspected and approved by Con Ed to have our gas turned on but then that explosion on 2nd Ave happened and they sent everyone back to DOB. [This process is] more of a nightmare than the fire was, honestly,” Reynolds quips.

Black Crescent opened at 76 Clinton Street in December 2013. This was previously home to Alias Restaurant, which served the neighborhood for more than a decade. Much of the painted facade (from Across the Universe) is still intact.

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