Stephen Starr tells Grub Street that after months of drama and neighborhood opposition, he’s decided to cut his losses and walk away from the shuttered Paris Commune space. In March, Community Board 2’s SLA Committee rejected Starr’s proposal — which would have expanded occupancy at the spot from 80 to 137 seats — and Starr had offered to present a new, scaled-down version of his proposal this week. Then he changed his mind.
“We’re moving on,” he told Grub Street. “We would have settled for a smaller space, but we would have had to close at midnight. That would have been intolerable.” Starr said he had no specific plans for another restaurant in the vicinity but noted that no matter where he went, next he would look for a “great space and a location where the neighbors aren’t uncomfortable.” Elaine Young, a member of Community Board 2 and a West Village activist told Grub, “He’s a great operator but his plan wasn’t right for that venue.”