I’m reading the August Issue of WestView and am really upset by the headlines: Open Restaurants: An Assault on Quality of Life, and Paris or Shanty Town?
If either of these articles present a thoughtful view of a complex issue, it would be irrelevant. The headlines are so loaded with purpose. That purpose I presume is to persuade city officials that residents are unhappy with the allowances given to restaurants, and the oversight of those allowances. And that is an incomplete telling of what’s going on.
The headlines don’t address the overwhelming support that we have seen from our neighbors regarding our roadway dining, and the sacrifices we’ve been making. The headlines dismiss by omission the efforts we—and many—restaurants have made, at great expense, to add beauty to the neighborhood.
The headlines are careless, incendiary, and destructive to our business. My only hope is that next time, WestView might more roundly consider who they are fighting against.
Thanks for your time.
117 Perry St. at the corner of Greenwich St.
Response to Letter to the Editor
Dear Mr. Laurence Edelman,
You wrote of your reaction to our August headlines Open Restaurants: An Assault on Quality of Life, and Paris or Shanty Town? as being loaded with purpose and that we don’t address the overwhelming support from the community.
The paper and the community did in fact support the restaurant industry when there was no indoor dining allowed.
The headlines are an introduction to important, relevant information, and Assault on Quality of Life is a direct quote from public testimony. In this month’s issue, more vital information is given on the subject, including issues concerning the structures at Left Bank and Poulet Sans Tete.
Kudos to all those hard-working restauranteurs who took the responsibility to learn the rules of building structures or placing tables and chairs on public right-of-way. But these stories are about those who do not abide by those rules, and residents who are suffering the consequences of that.
We need the community and the city to work together to find an equitable solution to the chaos now prevailing, not to allow it to continue indefinitely.
Sincerely, Brian Pape
Say No to The Corner Bistro Street Parties with Amplified Music
From Concerned Residents of 31 Jane Street
As longtime residents of the West Village, we support our local restaurants, celebrate live music and cherish our neighborhood.
Unfortunately for months, the Corner Bistro, at the corner of West 4th & Jane Street, has disturbed the peace of our West Village neighborhood during the week and on Sundays by having a live band play amplified music to create their own non-permitted loud street party with a crowd that regularly exceeded the permitted capacity for their restaurant and spilled drinking guests across the street, sidewalk and crosswalks.
After months of our neighbors calling the Corner Bistro and being told directly by the Corner Bistro management that they did not care about the complaints or what the neighborhood thought, the Corner Bistro finally acknowledged that their street parties were illegal and stopped playing amplified music. Perhaps they stopped due to the effects of residents filing complaints with the State Liquor Authority, 311, the 6th Police Precinct, Speaker Corey Johnson’s Office, Senator Brad Hoylman’s Office and the Nightlife Czar, Ariel Palitz, but now the Corner Bistro is seeking permits to permanently disturb the neighborhood with amplified music and crowded street parties. The Community Board should support our neighbors and urge the State Liquor Authority to deny a permit to change our West Village into a regular outdoor concert and street party zone. We hope the Board – and the Corner Bistro – will do the right thing and stop the amplified music. As a community, we should voice our concern by writing emails or letters to the offices of Speaker Johnson and Senator Hoylman and also attend the Community Board meeting—information on meeting dates is here— cbmanhattan.cityofnewyork.us/cb2/event/sla-licensing-2-robert-ely-co-chair-and-donna-raftery-co-chair-10/. A petition will also be in-play for the community to sign to show unified concern about the application for the amplified music permit.
The Corner Bistro has alternative options if they actually care about having a band play for their patrons. They could have the band play inside the restaurant. That way patrons could enjoy the music if they wanted to hear it without forcing the music upon the entire neighborhood and those who do not want to hear it. But it seems that option is not enough for them and doesn’t create the additional crowds that gather and drink in the streets above their permitted capacity. As another option, recently the Corner Bistro had the band play acoustic without being amplified. For a moment, it seemed like maybe the Corner Bistro cared a little bit about the neighborhood—or maybe just cared about stopping the complaints to the State Liquor Board about illegally hosting amplified concerts and constantly serving standing patrons above their permitted capacity —and had finally wanted to acknowledge and work with their neighbors. But again, it seems that also wasn’t enough for them as they didn’t have the extra crowds gathering to disturb our neighborhood, buying drinks and occupying the street, sidewalk and crosswalk.
But enough is enough. And the Community Board and the State Liquor Authority must not allow the Corner Bistro an amplified music permit. It is not right for the private Corner Bistro to disturb our public neighborhood and it should not set a precedent for restaurants to turn all of our streets, sidewalks and crosswalks into their private music venues.
There is a large sign bolted to the wall outside of the Corner Bistro that asks their guests to “Please Respect Our Neighbors. Keep the Noise Down.” The sign may be old and leftover from when the Corner Bistro used to care about the neighborhood, but it’s still hanging. Maybe the current management hasn’t read that sign in a while. But we hope they’ll look at it and remember how they used to feel about respecting their neighbors and being part of our community and that they’ll stop the amplified music and street parties.
Lani Tarozzi & Cindy Niedoroda