Residents Riled about Tribeca Tavern
More than a dozen concerned Tribeca residents turned out for the September meeting the Licensing and Permits Committee, which weighs in on the granting or renewal of liquor licenses. They showed up to voice concerns about MI-5, a bar located at 52 Walker Street, which has been a source of local complaints as far back 2007.
Neighbors of the bar allege that it operates as a dance club (in violation of its current license, which is now up for renewal), and that loud music penetrates the upper floors of the residential building located above the bar as late as 4:00 am.
Residents of nearby buildings also allege that M1-5 patrons congregate outside the bar, where they smoke, urinate on the street, take drugs, argue loudly, and sometimes engage in street brawls.
Two years ago, the State Liquor Authority (SLA) determined that MI-5 had violated multiple conditions of its license, and required that it agree to multiple stipulations as a condition of renewing permission for the bar to operate.
With that provisional license now up for renewal once again, CB1 has sided with residents, but Licensing and Permits Committee chair Jeff Erlich explained at the Board’s September 24 meeting, “our problem is that residents come to us at renewal time, but don’t put in complaints with 311, the police, or the SLA in between.”
“We can’t, without that trail, ask the SLA to take away that license,” he continued. “But we can ask for an investigation, which has been started. The owners of MI-5 were slated to appear before CB1 in July, Mr. Erlich noted, “supposedly to respond to community complaints. But only the lawyer showed up, and he said the owner would come in September and he would have a plan. Then the owner came in September, but he had no plan. He just said, ‘I have no dancing, I don’t know what you’re talking about'”
“M1-5 has been a trouble spot for years,” Mr. Erlich acknowledged. “Even the chairman of the SLA brings it up out of the blue when he talks about trouble spots.”
At the conclusion of this discussion, CB1 enacted a resolution finding that, “the applicant is in continuous violation of the terms of their liquor license by operating the establishment as a nightclub and day club with DJ, dancing and extremely loud music while the license only allows recorded music and no dancing.”
The same resolution says, “CB1 opposes the granting of a renewal of liquor license to [MI-5] until the applicant fully solves these long-time continuing outstanding issues to the board’s and residents’ satisfaction,” and concludes that, “MI-5 no longer operates in the public interest.”
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