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Public Safety & Quality of Life

15 West 55th Street, West Café LLC d/b/a “DV Café”, application for a new on-premises liquor license.

WHEREAS, 15 West Café LLC ("Applicant"), has notified Community Board Five of its intention to file for a new liquor license for a for a club, restaurant, café, and/or bar (d/b/a "the DV Cafe" and DV Club") located at 15 West 55th Street, New York, New York (the "Premises"); and

WHEREAS, The Premises contains approximately 10,748 square feet of floor space on the first and second floors of 15 West 55th Street; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is adjacent to the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, and CB5 requests that the State Liquor Authority inquire as to whether this application is subject to the 200 foot rule; and

WHEREAS, The Premises has never previously been licensed to serve alcohol; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is currently used as a retail store and hair salon, to which the Applicant wishes to add café, bar, restaurant and club use; and

WHEREAS, The Premises includes a partial kitchen serving light snacks, sandwiches, salads, pastries, juice, coffee and tea; and

WHEREAS, The Premises will have two patron bars, no service bars, two floors, two entrances and two exits; and

WHEREAS, The total capacity of the Premises is 154 persons; and

WHEREAS, The seating capacity indoors is 18 tables, 28 chairs, and 8 bar stools, with a total indoor seating capacity of 56; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is located in a residential building containing 9 stories and 31 residential units; and

WHEREAS, The second floor of the Premises, once containing four residential units, was illegally demolished to create the retail space which is the subject of this application, and such illegal demolition is the subject of continuing action by the Department of Buildings; and

WHEREAS, The proposed method of operation for the second floor of the Premises is that of a club to be called the "DV Club" in which members and their guests are served free alcoholic beverages, pursuant to their website which reads:

"Members pay an annual membership fee and they can leave their wallet at home. In fact, the member plus three guests will have access to the club any time and can enjoy premium top-shelf open bar and light food every time they visit the club with no tab" and

WHEREAS, CB5 does not find this to be an acceptable method of operation; and

WHEREAS, At the rear of the second floor, there is a large open terrace, approximately 1,048 square feet (the "Second Floor Terrace"); and

WHEREAS, The Second Floor Terrace is directly under the residential units; and

WHEREAS, A large number of residents attended our Public Safety and Quality of Life Committee hearing to express their urgent concern about the Second Floor Terrace, citing concerns about noise and other disturbances from the Second Floor Terrace just outside their windows; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant was willing to make some concessions regarding occupancy, hours, and use of the Second Floor Terrace, but Community Board Five finds that, because of the location of the Second Floor Terrace directly beneath the residential units, there is no way for the Second Floor Terrace to be operated without significantly and irreconcilably imposing on the residents directly above the space; and

WHEREAS, The Certificate of Occupancy does not provide for the current or proposed use; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is also the subject of 12 active Environmental Control Board violations, 17 active Department of Buildings violations, and 1 active Building Department complaint for unlawful acts; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application by 15 West Café LLC for a new liquor license for a club, restaurant, café, and/or bar located at 15 West 55th Street, New York, New York; and be it further

RESOLVED, Since the Premises is adjacent to the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, CB5 requests that the State Liquor Authority inquire as to whether this application is subject to the 200 foot rule.

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