And Fedora goes to … Gabriel Stulman. Manhattan’s Community Board 2 approved the liquor license transfer application to the Joseph Leonard owner last night. Stulman told the board that he will "restore Fedora to what it looked like in the thirties and forties" by turning it into "a casual supper club" that stays open until 4 a.m. Fedora’s son, Charlie, a dentist whose office is on the second floor of the building at 239 West 4th Street, said out of all the people his family met with in negotiating the restaurant’s future, Stulman was "the only one that was interested in keeping it the way it is."
Despite a significant showing of support (he came and left with an entourage of Joseph Leonard regulars from the neighborhood), the committee felt that 4 a.m. was too late a closing time for the mostly residential block of West 4th Street. It moved Stulman’s application forward, with an agreement from Stulman to close at 2 a.m. nightly. The new Fedora likely won’t open till October or November, Stulman told Grub Street. Here’s what else happened:
• The committee opposed a proposed bistro-brasserie in the old Village Paper space at 18 Greenwich Avenue. As previously mentioned, Carlos Suarez has plans there (he wants to put a rooftop garden on the building that would provide produce for the restaurant) but neighbors complained that the area was already saturated with bars and eateries.
• Nearly 150 neighbors signed a petition blocking a proposal by Alexander Duff and Holly Roberts to open a Segafredo European-style sidewalk café at 348 Bowery, which (as previously mentioned) is now a tire store and garage. The board rejected the plan for having too much outdoor space.
• AB Green Gansevoort LLC, which currently holds the liquor license for the so-called Boom Boom Room, asked for a new license to cover a private club that will serve a full dinner menu to members and their guests. The committee passed the request.
• Paolo Secondo should thank the U.S. Postal Service. The board could not vote on his application for an alteration to I Tre Merli on West Broadway because it was delayed in the mail. During his presentation, Secondo admitted he hosted "a few parties which upset the neighbors." At least three of the neighbors turned out last night, with one claiming that Secondo "just doesn’t think the rules apply to him." When one resident told the crowd that I Tre Merli’s parties are a regular occurrence ("I have called the cops every Saturday," she said, to complain of patrons "throwing chairs" out onto the street until 4 a.m.), another neighbor cut her off. "That’s bullshit!" he yelled. Another Secondo supporter, who manages the Martin Lawrence Gallery next door, gave a very different description: "I close the place most nights. It’s rarely open past midnight." The committee delayed its vote.
• Two managers from MercBar hoping to open a "neighborhood-friendly restaurant serving seasonal American tapas" at 264 Bowery faced strong opposition from local residents. The space formerly existed as Kos and was a Mexican restaurant before that. The new venture doesn’t yet have a name, but the two managers called themselves LLC Bowery Row. The partners said they planned to serve food from 5 p.m. on and rejected a suggestion to target the lunch crowd for the kitchen-supply-store employees in the area. The two couldn’t quite convince the committee that they were opening anything more than a bar, and their plan was unanimously denied.
• Plans for the old Señor Swanky’s place on Bleecker include transforming it into a "a countryside restaurant that you’d find in England or Ireland," said owner John Keogh. His partner, Tim Ryan, owns four restaurants in Key West. The board told the owners to consult neighbors and return in a month with a more detailed plan.
• Vol de Nuit, the Belgian beer and mussels joint, can make renovations as long as the owner agrees to close every night at midnight, the board decreed.
• The board denied a proposal for a burger restaurant at 615 Hudson Street. The partners claimed a chef from wd~50 would consult on the menu.