‘Whynot Coffee’ on Orchard Street May Grind to Halt as Contra Principal Seeks Pizzeria

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 at 5:06 am by

Whynot Coffee may soon grind to a halt. It would appear that the concept at 175 Orchard Street isn’t sustainable in the enormous space without a proper liquor license.

To that end, the 2,000 square-foot store is now on the market, courtesy of Misrahi Realty. Current rent is $16,400 per month with 12 years left on the lease and 3% annual increases. The listing also dangles the possibility of backyard use. There is no mention of a key fee.

And the first suitor is already out of the gate. One of the principals behind Contra is pursuing a pizzeria concept for 175 Orchard; Jeremiah Stone’s name appears on an application to Community Board 3 for full liquor. If confirmed and approved by the state, this would be both the third pizza outpost within a block (behind Rosario’s and Pizza Beach) and third Orchard Street establishment for team Contra (Wildair, and the proposed liquor store).

Stone did tell Eater, however, that there’s “a strong chance we will not pursue it.”

As for Whynot, the road hasn’t been easy. Conceived in 2013, owner Emil Stepkov opened with a beer-wine license under the guise of an art bar, and twice tried to upgrade to full liquor. Both times resulted in failure. Then their scaled-back booze privileges were eventually revoked altogether by the State Liquor Authority in May 2015. The state found that ownership ignored the binding stipulations and changed their method of operation by offering live music, pumping excessive volumes, and dancers (Whynot doesn’t possess a cabaret license). This happened after Stepkov considered relocating the coffee shop to make way for a restaurant concept that never got off the ground called Sushi Wa.

Despite the lack of license, locals seemed to embrace the business. The coffee shop is usually brimming with laptop-toting java guzzlers wired into their technology. Apparently, that doesn’t pay the rent in these parts anymore…

Recent Stories

Blockchain Company Anchors Sunshine Cinema Replacement Tower

The glassy office building that replaced the beloved Sunshine Cinema has its first tenant. And an anchor, at that. The arrival of San Francisco-based Solana Labs comes mere weeks after the sidewalk bridge outside 141 East Houston came down (thereby freeing Yonah Schimmel from bondage). Solana Labs, a blockchain company, reportedly signed a lease for […]

Man Shot and Killed on Q Train at Canal Street in Unprovoked Attack

A straphanger was shot and killed Sunday morning on a Q train just off the Manhattan Bridge in what investigators are calling an unprovoked attack. The 48-year-old victim, whose name is not released, was shot in the chest around 11:40am yesterday while riding a northbound Q train that was pulling into the Canal Street station, […]

Demolition Begins at Fire-Stricken Dim Sum Palace Building in Chinatown

Demolition started this week at 6 Chatham Square, which, until this month, housed neighborhood favorite Dim Sum Palace. Early morning May 1, a fire in the kitchen spread throughout the building, triggering a five-alarm response from the fire department. All told, five firefighters were injured battling the inferno over several hours. And according to Red […]

Eldridge Street Development Sells for $19.24M

A major real estate deal to report on Eldridge Street. It took three years, but the eight-story mixed-use building at 165 Eldridge traded last week for $19.25 million. Just under the initial 2019 asking price of $21 million. Buyer of record is Meng Lee and Karim Elsayyad of FREO Management. The transaction is not yet […]

The ‘Barrier Reefs’ Coming to Clinton Street Bike Lane

The Department of Transportation has chosen a winner to decorate the traffic barrier protecting the Clinton Street bike line. The city agency awarded artist Alison Cynamon as part of the ongoing Barrier Beautification mural project. The concrete slab runs from Delancey Street to South Street; an 840-foot stretch with roughly 1,980 square-feet of canvas to […]