Volume 20, Number 49 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | April 20 - 26, 2011
Tribeca locals dash eatery’s live music hopes
A Tribeca restaurant’s petition to enliven its nightlife atmosphere was shot down at a Community Board 1 meeting on Wed., April 13.
In an advisory role, C.B. 1’s Tribeca Committee voted unanimously to deny the owner of Sazon additional forms of nighttime entertainment. “Live music is essential to a Puerto Rican restaurant,” and will have a make-or-break impact on the business, according to its attorney, Martin Mehler.
Live music, however, is prohibited by stipulations in the restaurant’s state-regulated liquor license, according to committee member Jeff Ehrlich.
Several nearby residents cringed at the mere thought of the proposals.
Amy Sewell, who lives at 99 Reade St., said she is often disturbed at night by rowdy patrons loitering on the street after they leave the restaurant.
“We know you have intentions of being good neighbors, but it hasn’t worked,” she said. “Even if you’re [only] open until 1 or 2 a.m., people stay on the street partying until 3 or 4 a.m. It’s a problem.”
“It’s horrifying that you’re thinking of staying open later,” said Lisa Schiller, another resident of 99 Reade St. who also gets irritated by the noise.
The restaurant is already in violation of State law, according to Sewell’s husband, Charlie Sewell. He said he regularly sees the restaurant’s windows open after 7 p.m. — a breach of the restaurant’s liquor license — and hears loud music streaming from inside.
“Y ou basically operated a discotheque downstairs on a nightly basis,” Sewell said.
Sazon’s owner, J.R. Morales, said in reply that he had hired a D.J. a few nights a week to play oldies music on the bottom floor of the venue.
The eaterie, concluded Peter Braus, chair of the Tribeca Committee, would “have a bunch of work to do” before considering submitting an application with the owner’s desired changes.
“I can’t see this committee considering any additional dispensation of the restaurant,” said Braus. “I don’t think we’d be acting in the best interest of the neighborhood.”
— Aline Reynolds