At last night’s meeting of Community Board 3’s licensing committee, residents who’ve been in the East Village since the sixties unexpectedly came out in favor of Le Souk’s liquor-license application, saying the influx of bars and restaurants have corrected the area’s drug-infested past. One of them testified, “I remember in ’94 when taxis wouldn’t take me home.” Another said, “I would rather have throw-up on my door than someone breaking into my door.” But other longtime residents insisted that Le Souk and China 1 are the biggest problems in the area. The board, meanwhile, was concerned that there have been no less than 44 police complaints filed against Le Souk this year, including incidents of theft, larceny, and even assault. After 30 minutes of discussion, it decided not to vote for or against based on the fact that the license is being disputed in court. In the meantime, Le Souk is still serving.
Tom Birchard told us he was pleasantly surprised to be granted a recommendation for a liquor license for Veselka Bowery, which he said won’t open until next fall. Said one member: “If I had a dollar for every time my wife ordered banana pancakes from Veselka, I’d be a rich man.”
The owners of Son Cubano and Flor de Sol are seeking a license for a Mexican restaurant also in the Avalon. The size of the project (3 stories, 3,000 square feet, 225-person capacity, 40-foot bar) rattled members into recommending a denial.
The owners of Café el Portal and Xicala were recommended for a liquor license for Casa Mezcal, a Mexican cultural-learning center at 86 Orchard Street. Come May, you can learn the art of printmaking, watch silent films, listen to live performances, and sip some serious mescal.
Lastly, look out in the coming weeks for a new Atibes Bistro at 112 Suffolk Street. Chef David Shemesh, also of Paradou Market, is opening up another post of the Southern-French-Mediterranean eatery.