Tribeca committee and residents debate nightlife noise

BY Michael Mandelkern

Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee met last Wednesday to review the liquor license applications of several bars and address budding neighborhood worries; specifically the concern that the fun of bar patrons is interfering with the peace and quiet some locals yearn for at night.

Legal representatives, owners and managers came in to assure the committee and the community members that a balance between a vibrant nightlife and a disturbance-free community could be met.

Matt Abramcyk, owner of the sports bar 77 Warren, stopped by for a follow-up discussion stemming from a previous C.B. 1 meeting concerning nighttime noise disturbances coming from his establishment.

A concerned Tribeca resident, who lives in close proximity and was present at the meeting, acknowledged that the situation has recently improved. She did, however, address what she called “vibrations” blaring from 77 Warren’s bass system that resonate through her building. She suggested that 77 Warren invest in thicker, more soundproof windows.

But Abramcyk believes he and close-by residents have already resolved the manner. “Everyone seemed to be happy,” he said. The concerned resident and Abramcyk agreed to meet in 77 Warren sometime soon to assess its infrastructure to find an agreed-upon solution to the vibration problem.

The Dark Horse Tavern outlined its two lower levels set up for private parties, DJs, live bands and a bar. The bar-restaurant, located on 17 Murray Street, sits below a residential building and is raising some community concerns over the bar’s proposal for closing hours: 2 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends.

Karen Stamm, a C.B. 1 Tribeca Committee public member, suggested they turn their lights out earlier. But the building’s landlord asserted that the upstairs neighbors have never made any complaints.

All four C.B. 1 members present at the time approved the application and two of three public members approved. Stamm was the only member with a “no” vote.

The bar-restaurant, located on 17 Murray Street, sits below a residential building and is raising some community concerns over the bar’s proposal for closing hours: 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends. But Stamm again expressed concern. She said that such a nightspot would only grow more rowdy. If approved, the revamped space would host up to 50 people.

All members but Stamm approved the liquor license.

“There’s too many unanswered questions,” she said, citing what she believed to be a vague description of its operation hours and targeted the clientele. She referred to a Murray Street resident, Suellen Epstein, who has spoken out against the nightspot before for alleged loud noise.

Following liquor license approvals, Stamm decried the sidewalk seating at Pepolino’s Cafe, located at 281 West Broadway. She was particularly concerned about a planter on the street that, according to her, makes the eight feet of room left by the outdoor tables uncomfortably narrow. “People are just hanging out [on the street],” she said.

Peter Braus, chair of the Tribeca Committee, tried to move past the subject after about 20 minutes of discussion.

“I totally disagree,” she said in response to his claim that the topic is not controversial.

The eatery’s legal representative said the café would consider removing the planter or placing it elsewhere. Stamm ultimately voted in favor of an unenclosed sidewalk café, and the resolution passed unanimously. Pepolino’s Cafe is now permitted to build a retractable awning or set up umbrellas on the street.

After the agenda proceedings, the board casually discussed other reported problematic nightspots in Tribeca, particularly the Patriot, located on 110 Chambers Street. Braus called the Patriot a “fraternity.”

Michael Levine, C.B. 1’s director of planning and land use, hoped that the allegedly rowdy bar patrons would “become friendlier with the neighborhood.”