Botanica Bar Looks to Annex Adjacent Vacant Lot

Posted on: May 4th, 2021 at 5:00 am by

The long-fallow lot wedged between Milano’s Bar and Botanica might soon reactivate. Indeed, the latter watering hole seeks to annex the space for outdoor dining and drinking.

Application materials submitted to Community Board 2 reveal that owner Mark Connell is planning to use the vacant square-footage to accommodate seating for about 44 patrons. The goal is to extend their expanded menu and drinks outside. (Connell introduced pizza options last year to placate Cuomo’s pandemic edict of serving food with drinks-to-go.)

Proposed hours of al fresco dining are between noon and 11:00pm.

Before its demise thirteen years ago, 49 East Houston was a one-story structure built in the 19th century, and later owned by Steve Stollman. In this storefront, the owner sold bars and classic automat machines. But the space also doubled as a haven for bicycle activists – Time’s Up and Critical Mass.

Stollman sold the building back in 2008, and in came the wrecking ball. He netted $5.5 million from telecom entrepreneur Michael Hirtenstein and then-partner restaurateur Sean Largotta. Then the economic downturn hit the fan and the investors started suing each other.

Botanica Bar opened in the lower level of 47 East Houston in 1996. Taking what was once upon a time the original home of the Knitting Factory.

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