Le Baron Replacement to Go Before CB3 Next Month

Posted on: June 29th, 2017 at 5:10 am by

The survivors of Le Baron, still holding onto hope of a successor establishment on Mulberry Street, are headed back to the community board level for further consideration. Principals of MJK Foods LLC had tried to score a full liquor license by going straight to the State Liquor Authority, but were apparently stonewalled.

Indeed, MJK Foods now appears on the July agenda to obtain a full liquor license at 32 Mulberry Street. The Chinatown Residents Block Association remains staunchly opposed, though. A big sticking point is the hours of operation. We’re told that the CRBA met with all the principals a couple weeks ago, but “didn’t find Max Levai (of Happy Ending notoriety) sincere,” and remains against the provision of 4am all nights.

MJK ownership first approached Community Board 3 with the probable bait-and-switch concept one year ago, but ultimately met denial. (They were initially approved as grandfathered status, but the applicants refused the stipulations.) The CRBA had then argued that the license was no longer valid since it reportedly violated the state’s regulations regarding “safekeeping.” Namely, that the shelved license exceeded the six-month grace period allotted to applicants (Le Baron apparently hadn’t shelved until six months after its closure, where it remained until April 2017). The liquor license attached to 32 Mulberry Street was canceled two months ago, rendering 32 Mulberry an unlicensed location. MJK subsequently returned to the SLA to bypass the public consideration process.

Activists caught wind of the action, however, and demanded that MJK (Jacob Smith, Kenneth Cohen, Kazuo Yoshida, and Max Levai) return to CB3. That’s now happening, and the application will apparently be considered as a new liquor license.

Chinatown Residents Block Association

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