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Public Safety & Quality of Life

129 West 29 Street, C.W.L. Restaurant & Lounge LLC., application for a new on-premises liquor license

WHEREAS, C.W.L. RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE LLC ("Applicant") has notified Community Board Five of its intention to file for a new on premises liquor license for a restaurant and lounge to be located at 129 West 29th Street, New York, New York (the "Premises"); and

WHEREAS, The Premises is located mid-block on 29th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues; and

WHEREAS, The method of operation is stated to be that of a restaurant and lounge with a capacity of 220 persons; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is planned to contain approximately 3,600 square feet of floor space on the first floor; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is planned to have 2 patron bars, 30 tables, 165 chairs, and 25 bar stools; and

WHEREAS, The operator requested to close at 4 AM seven days a week; and

WHEREAS, Several establishments with a similar type of operating model exist nearby, creating a high density of licensed establishments in a small area; and

WHEREAS, Some nearby establishments, notably Pergola, although they agreed to reasonable closing times nonetheless still have a history of complaints on this block; and

WHEREAS, The Premises was previously licensed as a quiet and innocuous restaurant and wine bar with early closing times; and

WHEREAS, The late hours of operation requested by the Applicant are inconsistent with the "high end" food concept that they purport to provide; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant has no NYC restaurant operating experience; and

WHEREAS; The configuration of the large space is conducive to a more nightclub and private party type atmosphere than for a restaurant and the Applicant alluded to the fact that events and private parties would be a significant part of the method of operation; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is in close proximity to several mixed use buildings, many of which are residential; and

WHEREAS, The proposed location is already quite residential and becoming increasingly more so; and

WHEREAS, Representatives of the local neighborhood organization, the 29th Street Block Association, communicated opposition to the proposed hours of operation, but were receptive to the other aspects of the operating model; and

WHEREAS, Residents are opposed to establishments with late operating hours so close to their homes, having a deleterious impact on the neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, The residents were amenable to a compromise where the Premises would operate until 1 AM Sunday through Thursday and 2 AM Friday and Saturday but, even after an earnest attempt to reach a compromise, the Applicant would not cooperate; and

WHEREAS, A compromise is needed to balance the rights of liquor licensees to operate their establishments and the rights of residents to coexist among and around these establishments; and

WHEREAS, Applicants and residents both need to negotiate and cooperate in order to coexist in such densely populated areas; and

WHEREAS, The residents' compromise of a closing time 1 AM Sunday through Thursday and 2 AM Friday and Saturday is appropriate and reasonable given the location and other circumstances but the Applicant refused to cooperate; therefore be it

RESOLVED THAT, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application by C.W.L. RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE LLC for a new on premises liquor license for a restaurant and lounge located at 129 West 29th Street, New York, New York.

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