This Controversial Hotelier Wants a ‘Times Square’ Rooftop Bar on Delancey Street and the Neighbors Aren’t Having it

Posted on: September 19th, 2016 at 9:33 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

Silent for the most part during its first three years in business, the Holiday Inn on Delancey Street is fast becoming an enemy of the people. It all centers on the changing of the guard, and proposed rooftop venue it’ll birth.

As previously reported, operators Joe Donagher and Eamon Donnelly were initially chosen to run the replacement food and beverage onsite. Their plan, while futile, was to revamp the perpetually-empty Retro Bar & Grill in the basement and create a club atop 150 Delancey Street. However, dozens of protestors made themselves known at the Community Board 3 liquor license hearing in July, wearing green signs bearing messages of opposition (e.g. “I am a resident of 98 Suffolk Street; my building touches the Holiday Inn”). The application was ultimately denied.

Donagher and Donnelly subsequently gave up. So now, the Holiday Inn is instead going with Hank Freid, a notorious hotelier (Sanctuary Hotel) who was once-upon-a-time accused of exploiting HIV/AIDS patients. Per a 2008 report in the Observer, “[Freid is considered a terrible landlord] after contracting with the government to provide housing for homeless persons living with HIV/AIDS at his hotels amid hard economic times, then evicting those tenants to make way for upcale renovations once the economy rebounded.”

This image has been archived or removed.

Freid’s proposal has two parts – the contested rooftop bar, dubbed Haven Rooftop, and the basement spot currently occupied by Retro Bar & Grill. Both venues would together attract upwards of 200 people at a time (half that can fit on the roof), with Haven boasting late closing times of midnight Sunday through Tuesday, and 2:00am Wednesday through Saturdays. Obviously of great concern is the close proximity to a dense residential area comprised of families, elderly, and young children.

As you could guess, the opposition is mobilized. Area residents continue to do battle with the 132-key hotel over its application. The LES Dwellers are leading the charge alongside Suffolk Street Block Association, and have stepped up the fight with mailings and a new petition against the operator (approximately 100 signatures). Neighbors are at odds with the so-called “Times Square sensibilites” that Freid would bring to this project.

If you are against the proposed bars, sign the petition and stop by the special Community Board 3 meeting tomorrow night (6pm at 10 Stanton Street).

This image has been archived or removed.

Proposed rooftop bar

Recent Stories

Truck Hits ‘OhK Dog’ Dining Shed on Ludlow Street

Ludlow Street neighbors began Saturday with the sound of a large crash. It was the sound of the OhK Dog dining shed collapsing to the ground. From what we gather, a truck driver headed southbound on Ludlow struck the popular restaurant’s outdoor annex. No one was hurt in the incident. This was apparently the second […]

New 21-Story Tower Begins Ascent on Market Street

A former Lower East Side parking lot is meeting its skyscraping destiny. Another tower. The through-block parcel on Henry Street, just west of Market, is already on its upward ascent. The new mixed-use development at 59 Henry will ultimately rise 21 stories (227 feet), with 57,395 square-feet of residential floor area and 40,305 square-feet for […]

‘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 […]