How to Score a Lower Eastpacking District Liquor LicenseLiquor licenses are at such a premium in the Lower Eastpacking District that one beer-bar owner told us that a batty community-board member vowed she wouldn’t recommend him for one until the Iraq war came to an end. So when we heard that Darin (cousin of Steve) Rubell of Mercadito and Joshua Boyd of Plan B were opening GalleryBar with all the liquid fixings, we were a little doubtful. Rubell concedes that the upstairs art space, which opens December 15 featuring the work of painter Kevin Berlin, comes with a backstory that might spark envy among his embattled neighbors (the Orchard, say). To hear Rubell tell it, after evicting 13 Little Devils, their “very smart” landlord transferred the liquor license to a corporation and then sold it, license included, to Rubell and Boyd. Et voila: A rustic basement lounge where you’ll be able to quaff booze and order paninis provided by Bruschetteria.
— Daniel Maurer