Volume 21, Number 51 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 1 - 7, 2009
C.B. 1: Beer & pizza are a bad late-night combo
A handful of Tribeca residents turned out Tuesday night to oppose a late-night beer and wine license for the new pizza place at Chambers and Church Sts.
The residents, who spoke at a Community Board 1 meeting, worried that if Dona Bella served beer until 3 a.m., it would exacerbate the rowdy bar crowds that already gather on that corner.
“Murray St. has become the gutter of Tribeca,” said Loretta Thomas, who has lived on Murray St. for 21 years. “Now it’s going to happen on Chambers St.”
Mark Mozaffari, who owns and lives in a building on Chambers St., said he and his family already have trouble sleeping because of the people pouring out of bars like the Patriot and hanging out around Dona Bella late at night. And in the morning, Mozaffari said he has to clean up the sidewalk in front of his building, which bar patrons use as a toilet.
Mozaffari and other residents who spoke do not have a problem with Dona Bella having a beer and wine license, but they want Dona Bella to stop serving at midnight, not 3 a.m., as the restaurant requested.
Based on those concerns, Bruno Gioffre, lawyer for the restaurant, agreed to stop serving at 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights and midnight the rest of the week. With that condition, C.B. 1 issued advisory approval of the beer and wine license. The State Liquor Authority will make the final decision.
The hours of the license did not satisfy the neighbors, partly because the restaurant can stay open as late as it wants serving just pizza, and it will likely continue to attract bar-hoppers who get hungry in the wee hours. The 600-square-foot restaurant has no bathroom, so residents said people often use the street instead.
The community board typically recommends earlier closings for bars applying for full liquor licenses, but the board has less leeway in recommending restrictions for beer/wine licenses.
John Foss, a board member, said the board should be looking to help Dona Bella, not restrict its operation.
“This is a brand-new business at a time when many [restaurants] are going out of business,” Foss said. “We should be supporting local businesses.”
— Julie Shapiro