No longer playing hardball, board okays hard liquor
The Duane St. Hotel is poised to finally get a liquor license, after Community Board 1 dropped its strong opposition.
Two years ago, the board was so adamantly against the liquor license that the hotel’s owners withdrew their application and applied for a beer and wine license instead, which the board also rejected. C.B. 1’s opinion is advisory, and the State Liquor Authority granted the beer and wine license over C.B. 1’s objections two years ago.
Last week, owner Hersha Hospitality Trust returned to C.B. 1’s Tribeca Committee asking for an upgrade from a beer and wine license to a full liquor license. Jean Grillo, one of the staunchest opponents of the license two years ago, said she and other residents have been holding productive meetings with Hersha. Since Hersha agreed to stop selling liquor by midnight now and in the future, Grillo said she now supports giving the hotel a license.
“They appear to be doing everything right this time around,” Grillo said before the Tribeca Committee’s vote.
One reason C.B. 1 was so against the hotel’s license two years ago was because of lingering tensions from hotel developer Sam Chang’s unresponsive attitude on landmarking and other concerns. Chang turned the project over to Hersha several years ago, and it appears that C.B. 1 no longer wants to punish Hersha for Chang’s misdeeds.
The State Liquor Authority will make the final decision on the license.
— Julie Shapiro