Gramercy Park is one of the toughest places to open a restaurant, as evidenced by last week’s meeting of Community Board 6. About 150 people showed up to oppose a new restaurant, tentatively called Gramercy North. Owned by Cole Miller, who designed and developed the House on East 17th Street, the new spot at 38 Gramercy Park North, down the block from the Gramercy Park Hotel, is intended to be an intimate wine bar serving a tapas-heavy menu.
Neighbors fear a late-night spot, but its attorney, Mark Stumer (a Gramercy Park resident), tells us, “They have to close by 2 a.m. pursuant to their lease.” In light of the opposition, Cole, who is nearly done with construction and has already sunk nearly a million dollars into the project, has temporarily withdrawn his application. “We have every intention of addressing all the community’s concerns and opening by the summer,’’ says Stumer, who says Cole will be meeting with members of the community to iron out the problems, and will refile in the next 30 to 60 days.
Tony Carlina, district manager of CB 6 tells us, “It is extremely controversial because Gramercy Park North is a narrow and highly trafficked street. There are huge concerns about limos and cabs causing congestion and honking. That space hasn’t been an eating and drinking establishment since the twenties. It was an antiques shop. We are talking about historic Gramercy Park.”