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Public Safety & Quality of Life

47 West 20th Street, New York, New York (between fifth and sixth Avenues), The Jade Farm LLC d/b/a: “Jue Lan Club”, application for renewal of an existing on premises liquor license

WHEREAS, Robert Collins, on behalf of The Jade Farm LLC ("Applicant") has notified Community Board Five of its intention to apply for renewal of its existing on-premises liquor license for the "restaurant" on the ground floor and second floor (d/b/a the "Jue Lan Club") located at 47 West 20th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), New York, New York (the "Premises"); and

WHEREAS, The Premises is located within CB5's Restricted Licensing Area, an area of extreme density of businesses and residences; and

WHEREAS, The Premises consists of 1540 square feet of public indoor space on the ground floor, with 30 tables and 118 seats; 1100 square feet of public indoor space on the second floor, with 23 tables and 80 seats; and 2,700 square feet of back-of-house space on the second floor and in the basement, to be used only for storage, offices, and full kitchen; and

WHEREAS, The Premises includes 1,865 square feet of outdoor space on the ground floor; 1,250 of which will be used for outdoor dining, with 12 tables and 70 seats; and

WHEREAS, In May of 2015 when the Applicant applied for a new on-premises liquor license, Applicant represented and agreed to use the Premises exclusively as a quiet, fine dining restaurant, and the application for a quiet, fine dining restaurant was approved by CB5 at that time; and

WHEREAS, In May of 2015, Applicant executed the attached affidavit, which included various stipulations restricting its method of operation; and

WHEREAS, Among the stipulations is a restriction to "operate the Premises as a restaurant with seated bar and dining service only" to which stipulation Applicant has failed to adhere; and

WHEREAS, Among the stipulations is a restriction that "…bottle service (is) specifically excluded from Restaurant Use," to which stipulation Applicant has failed to adhere; and

WHEREAS, Among the stipulations is a restriction that "…ticketed and promoter-driven events are specifically excluded from Restaurant Use," to which stipulation Applicant has failed to adhere; and

WHEREAS, Among the stipulations is a restriction to "ensure that patrons enter and leave the Premises in a peaceful, quiet and respectful manner, discourage patrons from congregating outside the Premises, and use best efforts to keep the area outside the Premises clear at all times," to which stipulation Applicant has failed to adhere; and

WHEREAS, Among the stipulations is a restriction to "ensure that sound does not leak at any time from the inside of the Premises through the walls, windows, or doors to neighboring residences; with no amplified sound in the outdoor space at any time," to which stipulation Applicant has failed to adhere; and

WHEREAS, Among the stipulations is a restriction to "install a limiter on any sound equipment and maintain control of such limiter at all times," to which stipulation Applicant has failed to adhere; and

WHEREAS, Among the stipulations is a restriction to "operate private parties with the same terms, conditions and provisions of this agreement including but not limited to hours of operation, noise limits, prohibition of any amplified sound outdoors, but excluding ONLY the requirement for dining service," to which stipulation Applicant has failed to adhere; and

WHEREAS, Among the stipulations is a restriction to "prohibit dancing at the Premises at all times," to which stipulation Applicant has failed to adhere; and

WHEREAS, Among the stipulations is a restriction to "keep amplified music at a background level, conducive to an eating establishment only," to which stipulation Applicant has failed to adhere; and

WHEREAS, Among the stipulations is a restriction to "not incorporate a DJ … at any time," to which stipulation Applicant has failed to adhere; and

WHEREAS, Among the stipulations is another restriction to "not incorporate … live music at any time," to which stipulation Applicant has failed to adhere; and

WHEREAS, Applicant regularly hosts at the Premises a "DayDream Brunch" on Sundays, with regular hours from 2pm to 8pm, which brunch has been the source of complaints including noise, fights, disorderly conduct (public urination, vomiting, etc.) and other disturbances to the neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, Applicant regularly hosts "private parties" which are actually very rowdy promoter-driven ticketed events, the latest of which is a series of broadly advertised Halloween parties; and

WHEREAS, In response to frequent and consistent community complaints about the operation of the Premises, CB5 organized several meetings between the Applicant and neighboring residents, to identify the issues and mediate a compromise resolution; and

WHEREAS, Despite assurances given by the Applicant to CB5 and the residents that the nuisance caused by the Premises would be abated, nonetheless, the disturbances and complaints continued; and

WHEREAS, In response to further community complaints about the operation at the Premises, CB5 sent the attached letter dated April 19, 2017 describing the complaints and again requesting abatement but, again, no relief was achieved; and

WHEREAS, A large number of residents appeared and testified to the unreasonable disturbance caused by the Premises to the community; and

WHEREAS, The Premises has been the subject of frequent and numerous 311 complaints (attached); and

WHEREAS, The Premises has been the subject of police activity as shown on the attached police reports; and

WHEREAS, Elected officials with jurisdiction over the Premises have written the attached letter to the SLA detailing the issues and requesting that the SLA not renew the liquor license at the Premises and that the SLA undertake enforcement action to abate the nuisance caused by the Premises; and

WHEREAS, At CB5's Public Safety and Quality of Life committee hearing on October 26, 2017, Applicant was candid and unrepentant in acknowledging that it operates outside the terms of its agreement and remains intent on continuing to operate unchanged despite causing disturbance to the community; and

WHEREAS, The Premises is contained within a landmarked building which was constructed in 1844 as a church; and

WHEREAS, The church building, as a landmark, cannot be structurally modified to adequately provide for sound proofing to prevent sound from the Premises from unreasonably disturbing neighbors in residential buildings as close as across the street; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application by The Jade Farm LLC for renewal of its existing on-premises liquor license for the "restaurant" on the ground floor and second floor (d/b/a the "Jue Lan Club") located at 47 West 20th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), New York, New York; and be it further

RESOLVED, Should SLA denial of the renewal not be possible, Community Board Five requests that the SLA undertake enforcement action to mitigate the nuisance caused by the operation at the Premises; and be it further

RESOLVED, That, since the Premises is a landmarked building physically incapable of being altered to be soundproofed adequately for the operation of any liquor-licensed establishment, Community Board Five requests that the SLA revoke the Applicant's liquor license and order a proscription against the Premises, prohibiting the issuance of another liquor license for any part of the Premises.

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