Bouley shuffle causes cheers and jeers in TriBeCa
By Lucy Cohen Blatter
David Bouley has heads spinning and some neighbors fuming -- with the musical-chair moves among his TriBeCa eateries.Last month the famed chef-restaurateur opened brasserie Secession in the space that previously hosted Danube, at 30 Hudson Street. Two weeks ago, he relocated his upscale Bouley restaurant to 163 Duane Street from 120 West Broadway.
Plans are in full swing to move Bouley Bakery and Market -- now located at 130 West Broadway -- across Duane Street into the former Bouley restaurant space, where it will be transformed into a gourmet grocery. The restaurant above Bouley Bakery will then expand into the ground floor space.
A block away, at Reade Street and West Broadway, construction is in full swing on Bouleys tri-level Japanese restaurant and cooking school, Brush Stroke.
This flurry of activity, all within a two-block radius, has sparked the usual outpouring of cheers and jeers.
Bouleys done amazing things. Hes brought in a lot of revenue without bringing in noise; its not like hes opening nightclubs, said resident Amanda Denaro.
Hes done a great job energizing this neighborhood, said Sharon Hershkowitz-Levy, who owns the nearby Balloon Saloon. Hes brought in the right type of consumer to the neighborhood. Id rather have him than an OTB across the street.
Neil Winokur, who lives at 16 Hudson Street in the building that houses two Bouley establishments, said the chef does construction and plumbing without asking permission of the (co-op) board. He thinks he can do whatever he wants because hes a big deal, celebrity chef.
Julie Nadel, another building resident who led the Community Board 1s failed efforts to block Bouley from attaining a liquor license for Brush Stroke, agreed. Nadel was the president of the co-op board when Bouley moved his businesses in and describes him as a very difficult tenant. She pointed to his refusal to comply with buildings regulations, tendency to create unsafe construction conditions and one specific incident, in 2006, when there were two carbon monoxide leaks. While Bouley could not be reached for comment, during the liquor license debate, he told The Tribeca Trib newspaper, Theres a lot of history between this woman and I, and its unfair to have a sort of witch-hunt.
But Nadel insisted, My concerns are about health and safety, its really nothing personal. Theres just a history here of the king doing what he wants to do.