Under Cover, week of Feb. 25, 2016


If you spied a flock of pigs flapping over the Hudson a couple of weeks ago, it was because a Bizarro-world version of Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee asked a local restaurant to serve alcohol even later into the evening than it had planned to.

In a surreal reversal of its customary attitude toward late-night libations, the committee asked City Vineyard — set to open at Pier 26 this summer — to keep pouring alcohol past its proposed 11 p.m. closing time.

“I’m gonna take a contrary position here: the later people are at the restaurant, the better for security in the park,” said committee member Bob Townley, whose Manhattan Youth organization runs concessions at neighboring Pier 25. “If someone in the summertime wants to go have a glass of wine or even a bottle of seltzer at 12:30, it brings more people to the park,” he added.

The community board comments on liquor license applications, which include hours of operation, before they go to the State Liquor Authority for approval. But committee members typically ask for shorter hours, to reduce noise impact on neighbors.

The new restaurant, which is owned by City Winery, plans to open in the 1,150-square-foot glass-encased boathouse at N. Moore and West Sts., on May 1.

It won’t host live concerts like its parent establishment, however.

Ed Greer, the restaurant’s chief of production, told committee members the diners at the eatery’s two dozen tables would instead be serenaded by small-scale entertainment, like a “jazz trio or brunch guitarist.”

The City Vineyard reps at the meeting were pleasantly surprised at the committee’s unusual request.

“We’ll amend it right now,” joked the restaurant’s lawyer, Ravi Sharma, after Townley’s suggestion, which got support from other members.

In reality, the eatery would first have to get permission from its landlord, the Hudson River Park Trust, to stay open past 11 on weekdays, which its current lease forbids.

And even though the committee’s resolution — which passed with one dissenting vote — recommends City Vineyard staying open until 12:30 p.m. seven days a week, the venue might still close up shop earlier.

“If you want to give them the ability to operate later, either on the weekends or on weekdays — subject to landlord permission — that’s fine,” Sharma told the committee. “But I’m not going to say that my clients are going to commit to stay open anytime past eleven. Because there’s no point if it’s, like, horribly empty.”

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