We’ve now spoken with general manager John Cassanos about his push to get Community Board 2 behind Il Buco’s upcoming pig roast. Cassanos declines to speculate on why neighborhood activist Zella Jones is against the annual street party, but says she has laid down an ultimatum: If they roast the hog, she’ll oppose Il Buco’s bid for a liquor license at 53 Great Jones Street, where the restaurant is opening what Cassanos says is an “alimentary market and wine bar, selling a hand-selected number of products that we use at Il Buco.”
The community board meeting is somewhat of a formality (in the past, the city has granted permits against the community board’s wishes), but Cassanos is taking it seriously, since the city typically doesn’t decide on permits until the week prior to the event. This year, he plans to donate 100 percent of proceeds to charity and invite neighboring restaurants to participate. Meanwhile, the community board has already provisionally supported a liquor license at the new restaurant, which is being built out in a former lumberyard: It should open in late spring or early summer of next year, with a front room selling housemade salumi, bread, gelatos, and pastas, and a wine bar in back.