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Public Safety & Quality of Life

276 Fifth Avenue, 276 Fifth Avenue Inc., application for a new on-premises liquor

WHEREAS, 276 FIFTH INC ("Applicant") has notified Community Board Five of its intention to file for a new on premises liquor license for a restaurant located at 276 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York (the "Premises"); and

WHEREAS, The Premises is located on the Southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and West 30th Street; and

WHEREAS, The method of operation is stated to be that of a restaurant serving high-end Korean Barbecue; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is planned to contain approximately 4,500 square feet of floor space on the first floor; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is planned to contain an "island" bar, with 25 barstools and seating on all sides; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is planned to have 30 tables and 112 chairs; and

WHEREAS, The operator plans to install a sound system that is characterized as upbeat, but conducive to conversation; and

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

WHEREAS, The operator offered to modify its request to stay open until 4 AM but to cease serving alcohol at 2 AM; and

WHEREAS, Numerous establishments with a similar type of operating model exist on West 32nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue; and

WHEREAS, The Premises was previously licensed to serve alcohol and the previous licensee had numerous complaints to 311 and the Community Board; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is in close proximity to several mixed use buildings, seven (7) of which are residential; and

WHEREAS, A new residential building is under construction directly across Fifth Avenue from the Premises; and

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

WHEREAS, Representatives of the local neighborhood organization, the 29th Street Block Association, communicated extreme 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, Although the Applicant offered to stop service of alcohol at 2AM, they insisted on staying open until 4AM; and

WHEREAS, Opposition was raised as to the enforceability of a 2 AM last service, wherein patrons could order drinks that might not be completely consumed until the closing hour, effectively negating the purpose of having a 2 AM last service; and

WHEREAS, The 4AM closing time was also unacceptable to nearby residents because of concerns about patrons exiting the Premises at such a late hour and the potential for disturbance and noise; 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, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application by 276 FIFTH INC for a new on premises liquor license for a café and restaurant located at 276 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York.

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