Good guys getting bounced by liquor license politics

photo, talking point

Photo by Clayton Patterson

From left, Enrique Cruz, Orlando Rodriguez and Javier Rodriguez hope to get a liquor license for their new restaurant on Rivington St.

 

V TALKING POINT

BY CLAYTON PATTERSON  |  Manhattan is a small island. Starting in the early 1980s the Lower East Side began to be discovered as valuable property. We witnessed the start of the real estate boom. Property was bought and sold, buildings were being flipped. Property taxes were going up and the increases in commercial rent tax started to equal the price of rent. The amount of rent tenants were paying was not keeping pace with the costs connected to making a good-sized profit from the property. Landlords started using every means possible, legal or illegal, to evict long term tenants.

The power behind the money and the selling off of the community — the section I live in between Houston and Delancey Sts. — seemed to be based on the idea of making it a playground for youth with money. Much to my surprise, at a meeting in 1998, Captain Cooper of the Seventh Precinct, called our area an entertainment zone. Now I know he did not make that term up. How to attract the young as well as make a lot of money? Bars.

So, next came the bars. It seemed anyone could open a bar. The laws, the rules, the regulations that governed who could own a bar and where a bar could be located were all thrown out the window. There were many heroic, intelligent, attempts to limit the number of full liquor licenses for all these new establishments, as well as licenses for beer and wine. Nothing worked. This was going to be a playground for the youth with money, tourists, students, yuppies, mostly people from outside the community.

O.K. already. We are an entertainment zone. I get it. I have to adjust or leave. I decided to stay. But what baffles me is how the licenses are handed out. There’s no question that a new business can still get a full liquor license. But how do the politicians decide who gets and who does not? Very few of the new operators grew up in the community or live here. So why can’t Orlando Rodriguez, Javier Rodriguez and Enrique Cruz get a full liquor license?

These three Hispanic men grew up on Suffolk St. While most of the kids they grew up with ended up hanging on the street, dealing drugs, dying young or going to jail, these three were stay-at-home kids with strict parents. In my part of the Lower East Side there are not many success stories. I have known Orlando and his brother as neighbors, because they own and operate E&S Wholesome, the deli next door to where I live. No question — they’re honest and good people. (See The Villager’s May 28, 2008, article, “L.E.S. success story: Bodegas to Wholesome Foods market.”)

Orlando started working at the age of 14 at Economy Candy, putting in three years there. His brother Ralph owned Ralph’s bodega. When Orlando turned 17 he starting working in the bodega and did that for seven years. Next, he bought his own bodega on Madison St. As the neighborhood changed, Orlando was able to make the transition — he changed with it. He now owns a couple of small stores that cater more to the new world than the old one. He is an L.E.S. success story, as are Javier and Enrique.

For his next business venture, Orlando, in partnership with Enrique and Javier, wants to open a restaurant on Rivington St. between Ludlow and Essex. I am familiar with the building. I asked him why he wants this particular space. The building is a wreck. The last business I remember being there was a house of prostitution. Orlando explained he got a long lease and is willing to do whatever amount of reconstruction it takes to bring the building up to code, and has done all the necessary legal work to allow this.

I have been around this liquor license tomfoolery now for a couple of decades. In the beginning, I, along with a small group of others from my area, fought against the liquor invasion. It became obvious that we were fighting a losing battle. I know that getting a liquor license is tied to community politics. Even recently, I have been surprised as to who gets and who does not get.

But these three guys are local. They are from the hood. They spend their money where they live, and have invested in this community. They are opening a restaurant not a bar. I have never witnessed any kind of stupidity in or around their deli, which is, again, my next-door neighbor.

Over the years I have photographed thousands of people from my area. I am always shocked — when going through the photos with other community people — to see who ended up where. Believe me, these guys are the rare exception to the rule. I can think of some off-the-record reasons, which I will not mention, although it is a part of local politics, why they have been rejected. It’s a sorry state of affairs is all I can say.

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86 Responses to Good guys getting bounced by liquor license politics

  1. I think they wanted to be open until 4am which they said would be necessary to make rent. Many residents were okay with a restaurant that closed at midnight and sold beer and wine, but not a full liquor license with a 4am closing. That seemed to be a sticking point.

  2. Im glad that a neighbor like clayton patterson is writing this story and bringing this to light so that the community could see the circus that went on in this full board meeting ORCHESTRATED by CB3's own (SUSAN STETZER). This was not fair to a great person and a loyal and local business man that was born and bread and still living here. I was at both meetings and the applicant had overwhelming support, proof the public interest, which are the only way the cb3 would even consider approval in this area, so after the SLA committee approved them with stipulation on which the applicant agreed and signed too, the stipulations included cutting down hrs to midnight on weekdays and 2am closing on weekends and method of operation as a restaurant only, no dj,no dancing, with a full liquor license. In the full board meeting the chair person GIGI LI ask for an amendment to the already stipulated amendment to cut more hrs and only beer and wine, what she wanted to do was to cripple by setting this place up for failure, how could a fine dinning restaurant not serve there cultural liquor which is (RUM)? These people(GIGI LI,SUSAN STETZER,ALEXANDRA MILITANO) need to be replaced or investigated for what happen to this applicant at this meeting. I also want to thank anne johnson and the rest of the CB3 members in favor of the applicant for speaking out on one of our own. TEAM RODRIGUEZ WE ARE WITH YOU ALL THE WAY!

  3. Finally something that speaks more of what is truly being proposed which is a 'Latin Restaurant' NOT a 'Bar' or 'Night Club' like Susan Stetzer and Ms. D. "I wish l.e.s. was the suburbs" Boyd have been alleging and misleading everyone from local residents to local politicians to believe. I support Jose Rodriguez who was born and raised and still lives on the same block since childhood. He has proven that he is a hard working and level headed individual who deserves a fair chance. After all we all live in The United States of America right? Isn't it 'One nation under god'? Apparently not according to Racist Stetzer and D. Boyd who have gone to unprecedented lengths to try to block this restaurant. It is a shame that Politics and racism has gotten in the way of something so positive for the neighborhood. I believe in the real Judge and that's the man that is looking down on us from up above 'God' that he will see to it that this project becomes a reality because after all I was once told by a very wise man 'God don't like ugly' ………..May the Lord be with you Jose.

  4. OK, so once again, the point has been missed. It's not about whether or not these guys are good guys or not, I'm absolutely sure they are, and it's certainly not about race, which everyone knows is the weakest and most irrelevant card you could possibly play in this debate. It's about whether or not anyone who actually lives on this block (which they do not) wants or needs another nightlife establishment contributing to the weekend drug and alcohol carnival. We do not. Their paid lobbyists and lawyers would have you believe differently (yes, these humble local deli owners, with the substantial help of their financial backers, have hired lawyers and lobbyists to make a case that can't be made on it's own merits, so let's not leave comments about "unprecedented lengths", Victor.) A two-floor restaurant for 200 people that serves liquor until 4AM is much more than a simple restaurant in this neighborhood. Everyone knows that. Even the people that support this restaurant know it. Just look at the other one's just like it less than a block away. There's nothing inherently wrong with a restaurant like that, but we clearly don't want or need another one on this block. It's really that simple. There are plenty of areas throughout the LES that actually need a restaurant, that would welcome a late night destination, so what's so special about this block and this building that needs a complete reconstruction to make usable. Why such lengths? Is it maybe the thousands of people who flock here every weekend to party? Yes, that's exactly what it is, and these guys want to be a part of it. Again, it's really that simple. I get it. But let's keep the conversation on track, stop the name-calling (which I've noticed is only coming from one side of this debate), and consider why this, why here, why now.

    And as for raising our families in this neighborhood, congratulations, so do we, and we do it a lot closer to this proposed restaurant in "Hell Square" as it's become known, than the people supporting it.

    • Weston, you have been lied to and misinformed. The opposition to this restaurant have tried to defame these kids and make them out to be bad people. Did you know that the guys opening this restaurant agreed with the community board to close at midnight Sunday thru Wednesdays and close at 2AM Thursdays thru Saturdays. What is wrong with two floors? I never saw you or Susan Stetzer complaining about Beauty and Essex, when they were going to open. Don't tell me you live far from Beauty and Essex because it's around the corner. Why not the uproar then and only now? OOOPssss…… Maybe because? I've been in this neighborhood for 43 years and I call it like I see it. This is nothing but racism!

      Are they bad because they hired a good team to make this happen? If you are making an investment, would you hire a good staff or would you hire chumps. Don't come and make them look like the 1%, because they are not. I saw this kid when he was in his mother's arms. They came from very humble beginings and he is still a humble kid.

      I'm Irish and have been in this community for almost 50 years. It makes me sick, how you people are treating this kid.

    • Weston this is about race!!! You obviously did not see the stipulation they agreed to sign, the stipulations say midnite closing on weekdays and 2am closing on weekends no dj,no live music,no dancing, when you sign stipulation with the board and the SLA you have to go by them, if not you will get close down , dont you think? You probably also claiming its gonna be a club and that there closing at 4am, look at the stipulation before you say false accusation like you and the opposers been doing so they could look like the victims and the applicant like the bad guys, Weston just so you know, one must hire a lawyer to present your case to the board and the SLA unless you went to law school then you could go present your own case. Weston I also want you to know there's a person behind all this that has a history of being a "RACIST" the one an only (SUSAN STETZER)!!! You don't want to be on that same boat now do you? So get your facts rite before you start pointing out fake ones….

  5. I wish there was this much uproar and support for the mothers, fathers, young people and youth organizations that met last night to find a way to end the child-on-child violence in our community (the most recent incident happened just a few blocks from this proposed venue).

    Re: some of the comments here, it would be helpful to stop pitting people who are targeted by racism against one another (each side is “led” by a person who has experienced racism). And smearing a single mom (or anyone) is unacceptable – I would suggest the would-be operators of this place clear that up with their supporters. You have money behind you, enough to hire a PR firm. They should advise you not to go after individual residents who want a different outcome. I understand that the applicants grew up here and know the issues here. Maybe you offer leadership and support in backing parents to solve our youth crisis? We need youth centers in our housing complexes – offer help? Build another kind of support – with the "opposition"?

    People have reasons for their positions – people raising children in the neighborhood have reasons to want to halt the bar scene- and -people want to make money, run businesses and stay in their community. Can we make common cause with efforts to make this place good for all of our children?

    We will disagree, but how we conduct our disagreements matters. The young people of our community – who we say need OUR guidance on ending violence- watch what we say and do. How do we conduct OUR disputes?

    BTW I don’t think a community ever wants to imply that its neighbors either adjust to being a “entertainment zone” or leave.

    • KWebster, I appreciate and agree to your insight. We need to be positive role models to our children.

      I know the guys that are opening this establishment. One of his uncle's was shot and killed in 1983. So he knows what violence is about. He was here when it was only guns and drugs that ruled the streets. Don't mistaken his ambition to be successful with just being a greedy businessman. He walks his son and daughter to school every morning and wants nothing but the best for the neighborhood. He has seen how latin people have continuously been pushed out, either by high rents or gentrification. Some of his family has had to move either to the Bronx, Staten Island even Pennsylvania. So, please don't try to make them look bad. They are just trying to be providers to their families.

    • clayton patterson

      there is but the action is closer to the river-

      Community Stakeholders,

      The Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, along with all local elected officials and community partners will lead a march in the Lower East Side/East Village calling for an end to the violence. This march/rally is in response to the recent increase in violence within the community, most recently the murder of 16 year old community member, Raphael “Sadonte” Ward. The march/rally would also serve as an opportunity to unify the community and bring visibility to our collective efforts toward stopping the violence in the Lower East Sideand beyond.

      There is a unity rally-

      All the best.
      David Czyzyk
      Community Liaison
      Community Boards 3 & 4
      Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer
      1 Centre Street, 19th Floor
      New York, NY 10007
      Land (212) 669-2258
      Fax (212) 669-4306

  6. They don't need the liquor license to be competitive. They need the liquor license to offer authentic latin cuisine. Rum is a part of their cuisine and culture. Have you ever been to a French restaurant that didn't serve wine. Have you ever been to an Italian restaurant that didn't serve wine. Have you ever been to a Japanese restaurant that didn't serve Sake. Have you ever been to a Russian restaurant that didn't serve Vodka. A Latin restaurant cannot be authentic if they don't serve Rum.

    Why is that hard to see? Because they are Latin? Close your eyes and imagine that a white guy was born and raised in the LES. He went to the Community Board for a license. He was denied. OH MY GOD! HOW CAN IT BE? HOWEVER IT WAS A LATIN GUY AND WHO GIVES A CRAP!

    THIS IS RACIAL AND NOTHING ELSE.

    • OMG you totally figured it all out! They just don't want Latinos in the neighborhood. I mean, you do know there's an awesome and very authentic Dominican restaurant on I think the same exact block, right?). Oops. I suggest the pork chops btw. They don't have Rum though, but somehow SOMEHOW manage to still serve authentic food. It's like magic. OH MY GOD! HOW CAN IT BE?

      • J.J. Hahahahaha. That was funny!

        Guess what? That's my uncle's (Miguelo) restaurant. You know how long he's been there? 34 years! Guess what? He's not paying today's rent.

        So, please don't act cute. It's unbecoming.

        • Actually El Castillo De Jagua has probably been there 30 years. It used to be a Chinese restaurant. And yes, Miguelo has a great place. I eat there all the time. I was there last night. And yes John is right the place is dying. The hype places with liquor licenses are the places that are making it and Castillo only has a beer and wine license.

      • Wow you know how to show your true colors, let me guess your last name is (STETZER) or (BOYD). That restaurant your talking about is a dominican restaurant which is a great place, but this restaurant is a fine dinning latin bistro with plates from all over latin america design by yours truly JOHN DELLUCI. Whats sad is that you sound like the only racist just like the people I mention before. I want everyone to read all this and know where all this is going "RACISM" needles to say still exist.

  7. I feel a recent neighborhood backlash against the "we are an entertainment zone" status of our neighborhood. Lots of older people can't more because they can't afford to and the new younger people have decided to get together and make a stand so they can stay. I think we will see more bars refused or closed or more closely monitored. These guys were in the wrong place at the wrong time, it is unfortunate they got caught up in the "Dweller Spring" against the siege on our quality of life. I applaud these young people for organizing, it's time for another different neighborhood to be the new hot spot. Why not go somewhere else where they will be appreciated?
    And isn't there some question about who the real owners of the proposed establishment are?

    • Emily, I agree with you that the things have to change. But why make the stand with these guys?

      Why not when some trust fund baby tries to do it? Why the stand with neighborhood guys?

      Not cool… Not cool at all.

    • Yea I applaud them too for being so "transparent" or in other words "RACIST" if you and them really care about our neighborhood, why only care about this applicant and not all the rest? Last I heard there are other application being approved with a 4AM closing around the corner in a resolution area last month!!! Could any one explain that? Come on emily really quality of life!!!! dwellers spring? Your a joke just like that group. And the question about who the real owners are? Yes they are the real owners. The person that doubts that is the racist (SUSAN STETZER) and now you emily!!! What? You think because there latin they don't have any money??? Your RIDICULOUS!!!!

  8. If indeed they are the actual owners, (which I read in the Bowery Boogie is not the case), then it's plain old wrong place, wrong time. Rivington is a particularly bad block and it's their bad luck to be the first of many challenged by this new group.
    Recently the police are responding better to noise complaints, politicians are stepping up, bar owners are getting worried and residents are getting together. These young Dwellers communicate well and they have gotten their message out.
    Maybe we just reached the critical mass and it's time to go in the opposite direction back to retail, residential and restaurants that close at 11PM.
    Time will tell.

  9. The premise of this post is absurd. Who cares where these men grew up? A much more pertinent question is whether they live in 'Hell Square' now? Actually, the most important thing to investigate is what the community of Hell Square really wants and needs. Does the writer of this puff piece know how out of control Rivington is right now? He seems to be recommending that unhappy residents leave if they are unhappy with the designation of Hell Square as a party destination: "We are an entertainment zone. I get it. I have to adjust or leave" … what an appalling point of view.

  10. clayton patterson

    All I can ask is where were all these people when we tried to stop the bars? It was a lonely fight. And it does make a difference that the people are from this community. How many people on this list have lived here even 10 years?

    These guy have a modern deli that serves the new clientele . They have been able to make the transition in the grocery store business. They are one of the very few. There is almost no bodega's left. In a year 2 more will be gone. Question: How many are left in this part of the LES?

    With this new World Order there is no more bodega culture. It became illegal for Latinos to hang out in front of the store. . No dominos- no music- no hanging out with the kids and friends- gone. All gone.

    If everyone that is against these guys would eat at El Castillo De Jagua they would probably be able to stay in business. Castillo is dying. Sad really.

    If I go through my old photos it is shocking how many Latinos are no longer here. The rate of exodus is shocking.

    I am not in favor of more bars. I am in favor of these guys opening a restaurant and being competitive. The Latinos have never been the Spring Break types. This is a food place not a bar.

    And in this area there have been new full liquor licenses given out since they applied. Why were not these people against those license? Hmmmm… This is about more than just another license… save me on that one…

    • 106 Riv isn't the only Hell Square target of opposition, just the most vocal. Tiny Fork was also deterred from pursuing a full license because of neighborhood opposition.

      Question: Why don't they open elsewhere on the LES, where restaurants are lacking and they would not only be approved, but be welcomed with arms open? If they have good quality, precise location is not the determiner of success, thanks to extremely popular services like Yelp, Foursquare and Seamless.

      The neighborhood that coincides with Hell Square has only very recently reached a tipping point. I'm sympathetic to local businesses, but I have much much stronger sympathies to the community as a long-term cultural and socioeconomic whole. The gains in the community are deteriorating rapidly, and now the neighborhood is not going to permit further risks. As emily commented, it's simply wrong place, wrong time.

  11. clayton patterson

    I see no reason why Enrique Cruz, Javier and Orlando Rodriquez have to be limited by any of the restrictions that other “bars” are not limited by. Who can forget when the Club at the end of my block, on the corner of Houston and Essex, opened with a full liquor license? They are across the street from a school. They are across the street from a bar. There have been shootings, stabbings, group brawls on the street, an illegal bottle Club- no problem. In fact one night Lincoln Anderson witnessed one linebacker sized drunk patron on the street knocking people senseless. After awhile his pals got him in a cab and he left. No problem with their license. These guys are opening an ethnic restaurant not a bar. What is their problem?

  12. Thanks Clay.

    You have seen this neighborhood go from drugs and prostitution to the LES Dwellers. Everybody understands that the nighlife needs control in this neighborhood, however to treat these guys like this is unimaginable. These are our guys! And to see the hatred coming out of this so called LES Dwellers and to see my District Manager of our Community Board come out as she has in opposition. I wonder whether Susan would have written a letter of Support if Jose would have won the vote. She is tainted, she is biased and she has to go!

  13. Let's get a petition going that Susan has to go!

  14. I agree. Let's have all the latinos in the neighborhood, send a letter to their reps to have Susan go.

  15. Guess what guys? It's an election year. Let's all the Latinos start a chant…..

    Hell No!!! We won't go till Susan Goes!

    It sounds good!

  16. We are all united in this cause. We are all together now and their are only 200 people here right now. You pissed off the wrong people. Susan has to go and we are not taking no for an answer.

  17. We are 40K strong in the L.E.S. This is the straw that broke the Camel's back.

  18. Susan,

    You really believe that if Jose would have won the vote which he lost by one, you would have written a letter in support. You make me sick. These guys are the real deal. And then when I see you come out in support of a liquor application for Ludlow Stree; I question your intentions.

    I'm not Latin. Im Irish and have been here for almost 50 years.

  19. Susan,

    You, Gigi and Alex, are person's non-grata in our community. And you haven't seen the last of us. We will start to get involved in politics. It's your fault. You messed with us. We would stay quiet and let you keep pushing us out, but when you hit one of our star guys, you messed up.

  20. Susan,

    You picked on Jose…. He is the Rosa Parks of our neighborhood. You messed up, but we won't hold it against you, if you do the right thing.

  21. Susan “Racist” Stetzer needs to go! What we need to do is organize a protest at a CB3 meeting and invite the press

  22. This racist woman needs to go now. Who she think she is trying to say who gets what. She thinks she's bloomberg running for his 3rd term not happening. Latinos let's unite and get this woman out of her position,let's send emails,letters,and phone call to our local officials and if they don't do nothing about this matter we won't vote for them. The people to contact is the mayors office,margret chin,Daniel squadron,and our very own Rosie mendez… Latinos stand unite let's unite and fight for one of our own…

  23. Hell Sq. Resident

    Yeah, anyone who stands against a liquor license for new business in Hell Square is a racist. The personal attacks in these comments are unconscionable. This thread is laughable.

    • @he’ll square resident if she was to stand up for you then why did she approve a full liquor in “hell square” on ludlow with a 4am closing last month? Explain that to me, clearly she is just targeting and doing everything in her power to not allow this Latino applicant and our neighbor for 40 plus years to get a liquor license with a 2am closing not 4am. If this ain’t racism her name isn’t “Susan stetzer” Keep laughing well see who has the last laugh!

  24. TAKE THEM TO COURT

    Jose your a victim of defamation and racism you could sue Susan stetzer and that group for all this. If they investigate your case and the lies these people have said about you and your family it’s a no brainer to take them to court. RACISM is still alive people, here’s a case to prove it.

  25. What the headline should say is Susan stetzer bounce the good guys and neighbors around. No board member alone has gone to these length for one application never, so why to one of our own? A family man with successful businesses in the same area he grew up in and still living in, Why him? We don't need to point out of what's really going on here these actions speak for themselves! P.S. Im going to point out another fact that I would like the answer to, why didn't she take these measures and gone to these lengths when she approved a full liquor license until 4am in a resolution area which she calls "hell square" on ludlow???

  26. LATINO RESIDENT

    Wow you know how to show your true colors, let me guess your last name is (STETZER) or (BOYD). That restaurant your talking about is a dominican restaurant which is a great place, but this restaurant is a fine dinning latin bistro with plates from all over latin america design by yours truly JOHN DELLUCI. Whats sad is that you sound like the only racist just like the people I mention before. I want everyone to read all this and know where all this is going "RACISM" needles to say still exist.

    • I am part cuban and I am against any new bar/club opening up.We do not need another liquor serving establisment on Rivington,Ludlow or Essex.Stop making this into a racial issue! And stop slamming people like Diem Boyd or Susan Stetzer who only care about the quality of life in this neighborhood.

  27. THIS IS FUNNY!LMAO!

    Tom, it sounds like you already have a side. Guess what that sid has been lying from the get. Diem and Susan are two lonlely women who probably wake up every day and look at themselves in the mirror and ask themsleves,: what ever happened to my dreams. Guess what it's not anybody's fault. They are just lonely. So, how is that anybody else's fault.

    These guys have shown they are the real deal. The problem is that they didn't kiss Susan's ring.

    Guys, keep doing it the right way. Don't let Susan, stoop you down to her level. I'm sure she wakes up alone and wishes that a man can stand her enough to wake up next to her. Thank god that we are not that desperate!

  28. LATINO RESIDENT

    Weston this is about race!!! You obviously did not see the stipulation they agreed to sign, the stipulations say midnite closing on weekdays and 2am closing on weekends no dj,no live music,no dancing, when you sign stipulation with the board and the SLA you have to go by them, if not you will get close down , dont you think? You probably also claiming its gonna be a club and that there closing at 4am, look at the stipulation before you say false accusation like you and the opposers been doing so they could look like the victims and the applicant like the bad guys, Weston just so you know, one must hire a lawyer to present your case to the board and the SLA unless you went to law school then you could go present your own case. Weston I also want you to know there's a person behind all this that has a history of being a "RACIST" the one an only (SUSAN STETZER)!!! You don't want to be on that same boat now do you? So get your facts rite before you start pointing out fake ones!!!

  29. Q: can someone tell me where are the latin opposers? Till this day there are none but there are a lot in support!!! So lets do the math( stetzer and her team-0 RODRIGUEZ TEAM-100)… they should go cry up another tree not this none.

  30. clayton patterson

    I think a part of the reason that the term racist comes up is out of frustration. Someone grows up down here and does everything right and they get pushed to the back of the bus, with numerous excuses, meanwhile new people with no connection to this part of the community get a full liquor license with no problem.

    As I noted there have been new liquor licenses in "Hell Square" given out since Orlando and crew applied for theirs. Why not give the same opposition? What is so special about this particular liquor license. It is very questionable.

    Believe it or not there are people who absolutely hate Obama for no other reason than he is Black. So give me the reason that other establishments got a liquor license without all this tomfoolery and Orlando and crew has to get multiple restrictions? And only a beer and wine license!

    • Hell Sq. Resident

      … But not everyone who dislike Obama are racists. What if I said I don't like Obama because of his illegal campaign of drone strikes? It really cheapens the discourse when you start throwing around accusations like racism. As the writer of this article I think you should condemn that kind of nonsense.

      P.S. I actually love Obama … this is just an analogy :-)

      • clayton patterson

        In terms of Obama I said there are people-not all people. But make no mistake, even in NYC, and I can think of some jokes and so on I have seen on the internet that are without question racist-stupid and ignorant.

        I was asking the question- there were liquor licenses given out- same area- no problem- so why is it that these guys were not given the same treatment?

        In the past one of the Clubs that opened on the end of my block was run by a major Coke dealer from Florida. The person who researched and this discovered this fact made certain people aware and it was like who cares. And yes we had shootings and so on and they haD no problem with the license.

        After years of being around this nonsense one sees that certain people get preferential treatment and others do not. So I just want to know why these particular guys are having this problem.

        If these guys have done everything right- what makes them different is my question. And I was saying I can see why the racist comment came up. Not that I made the comment. I was referring to a statement from above mine.

  31. Hey Clayton, thanks for sending me this link. Zoning and Use issues like this really have a negative financial effect on small businesses like the applicants in this case. I personally was prevented from razing n fire damaged small building in Columbus to make an accessory parking lot for the owners larger building that was adjacent. Well, the Downtown commission had an architect that would not reach consensus and the project was tabled. He thought everything should be preserved and the edifice was not even historical. My result was that I got sued by the owner for breach of contract, railroaded by the judge in the case and lost a shit load of money. The result was that the city condemned the building, razed it and it is a parking lot exactly as was planned. Just the damage was on the applicant…me.

  32. My point is that when people get into positions of authority whereby they tap their pencils not taking into account the results of prejudiced or poorly thought out decisions, they hurt others badly. I like how your article really raised a sore spot in your community and actually created an action. Vote them out and surely they know that their decisions will be scrutinized and watched much more closely.
    Keep up the good work. I had a lot of fun with you last summer at ComFest. Hope to see you soon.

  33. We need a Latin bistro in the lower east side, the 25% of hispanic from this neighborhood have to go to other boroughs or zip codes for this type of dining experience. I don't see what the fuzz is all about give this guy his full liquor license and if he puts his foot in his mouth then he would get what he asked for.

  34. Im in support of this application. There should be no reason why a restaurant closing at 2am should be a problem to anyone. Why is this such a big thing? Why to a person that gives back to his community,helps out his church's, donates to charity groups and little league team from this neighborhood. Why would people do this. He's a good man and we should stand behind a neighbor like this.

  35. I agree with clayton patterson, Why are other applications being approved in the same area and this one gets denied? Why no to a person that's from this neighborhood and yes to the persons who aren't ? I want more diversity brought to this neighborhood all we have is a bunch of dive bars and other type of cultural menus. I want a latin restaurant brought to this neighborhood especially if it's from a person that's from here.

  36. What's the truth about who the owners of the establishment are? Misrepresentation is a big deal, especially to agencies like SLA and politicians. The allegation is in this story. http://www.boweryboogie.com/2013/01/opposition-to

  37. Emily I been following this discrimination since it started the bowery boogie never interview the applicant. Bowery boogie just posted what the opposers the dwellers lied about. If you want the real story and history just go to any of the stores in your neighborhood that he has and ask him yourself. They are the real deal, don't fool yourself.

  38. This latin restaurant would represent the lower east side do to the fact that its coming from it's very own resident. There's nothing better than a neighbor opening up his own restaurant in his own neighborhood. This story saddens me, that the world has come to this. Im latin and I support this application!!!

  39. What's wrong with a latin bistro opening up? nothing!!!

  40. People this applicant is bringing a star chef john delluci to our neighborhood, and also a menu of his families culture with drinks that go with this menu. Why try to destroy him before he even opens?

  41. I dont see what all the fuss is about? I actually like the idea of a local resident opening up a nice establishment like this. I bet we can count on him hiring local residents to work in the restaurant. At a time like this that jobs are hard to come by I sincerely support the idea. Im actually surprised and baffled that Susan stetzer would be opposed to this idea. I can also understand the need for the liquor license. I for one like to have a drink with my dinner especially after a long day at work. Good luck guys hopefully I can enjoy a nice glass of Latin rum with my cuisine someday.

  42. Strange you should focus on Ms. Setzer.
    She has no vote, either on the SLA Committee or the full board. It's the board members that vote that made the decision. She's probably flattered to be attributed to have super-powers and influence over the votering members of CB3, but they seem like a pretty independent (and large!) group of quirky, unpredictable individuals.

    • Other where mention besides her, she's the one throwing the rock and pointing the other way. She's has no vote but knows how to swing a vote just like she did in the full board meeting, Lobbing and lying to the other members about the applicant. My question to you emily, Why is this such a big thing when other application in the same area are getting approved? Not only are they getting approved but given 4am license with full liquor. She even lied in the 500 ft rule hearing ,swearing under oath that she didn't know about the changes made in the hours of operation, when she's the one that goes through the applications. Emily save me telling you things you already know just look behind the curtain and see who the real puppet master is. Hint; her name starts with an S_ _ _ _ fill in the blanks!!!

  43. Other where mention besides her, she's the one throwing the rock and pointing the other way. She's has no vote but knows how to swing a vote just like she did in the full board meeting, Lobbing and lying to the other members about the applicant. My question to you emily, Why is this such a big thing when other application in the same area are getting approved? Not only are they getting approved but given 4am license with full liquor. She even lied in the 500 ft rule hearing ,swearing under oath that she didn't know about the changes made in the hours of operation, when she's the one that goes through the applications. Emily save me telling you things you already know just look behind the curtain and see who the real puppet master is. Hint; her name starts with an S_ _ _ _ fill in the blanks!!!

  44. DEAR NEIGHBORS!!!

    How is a person who was born and lives in this neighborhood for decades, is raising his own family now in this neighborhood, has successful businesses in this neighborhood, has given back to charities in his neighborhood, has sponsored little league teams in his neighborhood, has participated in giving school supplies and toys to those in need in his neighborhood, has participated in giving out over 300 turkeys for the holidays in his neighborhood,And is now planning to open a restaurant in his neighborhood. Why would some neighbors and some people from this community would go against a neighbor like this? But allow an outsider to do whatever he pleases with our neighborhood!!!

    • Many people have grown up in this neighborhood and have worked hard.Who cares how many turkey's these guys has given away.We do not need any more liquor licenses given out on Rivington or Ludlow Streets.

  45. I guess cause he's latin? Or they have a personal vendetta for him? There's no reason why a person or neighbor to some, should get denied of opening up a restaurant in his neighborhood. Why him?

  46. Jose is "the Rosa Parks of our neighborhood" kind of offends me–especially today on MLK Day and Obama being sworn in. Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama is not the same as Jose's "fight" for a liquor license in the "entertainment zone"?!?! The comparison marginalizes Rosa Parks and everyone who sacrificed and fought for ALL of us.

    Accusing people who don't want another liquor license in the "entertainment zone" area that is probably one of "worst" sections on the Lower East Side, as racist and personally attacking CB3 members as racist, "methinks" supporters on this message board "doth protest too much"? The unmeasured outrage waged at the people opposing would be better directed around a call-to-action in OUR community about youth-on-youth violence, economic disparity, low performing schools, and the numerous health issues we face. This something that ALL of us–supporters for the liquor license and oppositions to the liquor license, would agree to be on the same side of.

    I have lived here for a long time Mr. Patterson – seen a lot of "tomfoolery" and shenanigans happen here, but I have to say, I am very upset by how race is being used here–distracting from the real issues. The opposition unified by geographical space– sick and tired of swimming in urine, vomit and drunks, decided to fight back. And now they are being attacked personally for taking action? Do you really believe if it were anyone else wanting to open in that space located on the same street as The Hotel on Rivington, Fat Baby, Co-Op, Spitzer's Corner and Viktor & Spoils but "Jose, Enrique, and Javiar" the residents wouldn't have opposed them. Really? Come on, this entertainment zone, which I agree should have not been allowed to happen in the first place—but poor communities without resources are always shit on by big money and politics, is one big shit show weekend after weekend. 10+ years later we are at a tipping point. We have had it!

    I am glad a new community group has decided to organize-no one else in our community was doing anything about it? And I am glad for all of our sakes, that they refuse to accept this as an entertainment zone that we accept or leave. We always have a choice not to accept the way things are, and we have a right to do something about it. I don't think it is up to me or anyone else to say when it is the right time to fight back? No one is saying these aren't good guys –they are saying no more, enough is enough!

    • Oh Chicana please STOP with the BS and lame attempt to cover up whats really going on here. Talking about how this new BS LES Dwellers group is going to suddenly save L.E.S is hilarious. Where were they when CB3 approved another liquor license till 4am in the last CB3 meeting? So much for the ‘Superman cape’!

      • Robert.LES Is well organized and knowledgeable about what is going on in the neighborhood .DB has lived here for almost 30 years.I think all of her hard work and reaching out to the community are commendable.

  47. Enough is enough? Why are they still approving liquor license a few feet from this location and you,the new group,and susan are not bothered about it? That"s what mr. patterson is pointing out here! You want proof attend the cb3 meeting.

  48. Enough is enough? Why are they still approving liquor license a few feet from this location? You,the new group,and susan are not bothered about it? That"s what mr. patterson is pointing out here! You want proof attend the cb3 meeting.

  49. Racism should have never been part of this conversation! The fact that it was allowed was a disservice to the many people in this country and around the world who face racism, bigotry , and inequality on a daily basis Mr. Patterson your article though it may not have been your intention–only you know what your true intent was, allowed the supporters of Jose, Javiar, and Enrique — and dare I say the subjects of this article themselves, a forum to personally attack people and cloud the issue at hand. It was irresponsible of the Villager to allow and encourage this type of incendiary dialogue on its message board. Your role as moderator was not to include your personal opinions, but monitor the dialogue and keep it civil. I applaud Councilwoman Rosie Mendez saying that opposing a liquor licence does not make you a racist , and kudos to Margret Chin for echoing the same sentiments: http://www.thelodownny.com/leslog/2013/01/mendez-

    • What about going through and deleting all the posts that personally attack people, such as calling people racist and using their names? . This was so egregious and irresponsible on part of the Villager not to moderate the conversation. I want you to be very aware that all the of the personal attacks came from one side. The Villager in my opinion and shared by others, has lost a lot of respect in this community for allowing this conversation to be reduced to this level of vitriol.

  50. While I'm sympathetic to their general situation (though they lose points for their disingenuous use of the race card), I fail to see why they–or the author–is so "baffled" by the situation.

    It's simple: until recently, the neighborhood was politically disengaged and apathetic. This led to a proliferation of nightlife establishments. Eventually this brought an overwhelming, out-of-control increase in nighttime disturbances. This galvanized the neighborhood to organize and act, as a matter of self-defense against this threat to safety, property, and culture.

    What I don't get is why they insist on Hell Square. There are other areas–on the LES but outside Hell Square–that would welcome them. That would be a real service to the entire LES: improving underdeveloped areas and drawing people out of Hell Square.

    • This whole race thing was made up by the opposing party. I know what the story was. Let's make up these comments that way these latinos look like there throwing in the race card, then susan would play the victim and reaches out to Ms.Mendez a latin council woman, and claims her heart felt story. Convinces ms. Mendez to publicly say to her latinos stop the racism calling, going against a "BAR" is not racist… Nice try guys! I could read between the lines. You are asking why they insist on Hell Square? Well, there are lots of reason's why, Ill give you a few. First reason since this license got denied CB3 has approved several full liquor licenses in which you consider Hell Square, Don't go by what Im saying go look at the CB3 calendar and minutes. Second they have overwhelming support from this community. Third they have other successful businesses in this area. Fourth they live in the neighborhood so they would be more attentive to there business unlike the owners that don't. Fifth they are a restaurant, different from anything on this block an in Hell Square.

  51. I agree with you Chicana.
    The tone was set from the first words, with the headline that set one group apart as the "good guys". The Villager has new owners and maybe they are trying to sell more papers by sensationalizing their content. I doubt if the past Villager leadership would have allowed individual people's names to be used as they were and called racist. And all those SCREAMING CAPITAL LETTERS! What's that about?
    Pity, if our only local newspaper is going the way of the NY Post. I realize their response will be, "This was an opinion piece." Better editorial judgement should have been made on what is appropriate as an opinion piece. Next they will be saying it's "fair and balanced."
    I much prefer the in-depth description of this difficult issue in todays Lo-Down blog.

    • Hi Emily. Thanks for your comment. But rather than judging the editorial quality of an 80-year-old newspaper based on a 600-word opinion piece written last week by an area resident (who certainly has the right to share his opinion in print, whether or not you or I agree with him), please be reminded that we did cover this 106 Rivington in a news article back when the CB3 full board vote took place in October.

      Here is a link to the article: http://www.thevillager.com/?p=8224#idc-container

      To be honest, Emily, I think that you prefer the Lo-Down's coverage on this issue because its tone fits more squarely with your own opinion. The Lo-Down, in its coverage of the CB3 full board meeting in October, declined to report on the fact that there was a great deal of confusion and outcry (not just from 106 Rivington supporters, but from CB3 members themselves) that took place during that night's debate and subsequent vote. If you were reading this newspaper that week, you may have caught that. In addition, CB3 member Anne Johnson later wrote us a letter, which we published, that shed some more light on the events of that night's vote, and the issue in general. These are just the facts of the matter.

      As for whether or not The Villager is becoming the Post, we'll just have to agree to disagree. Please keep reading the newspaper — all of the articles, and not just opinion pieces that involve issues you feel so passionately about — and I think you'll change your mind about that one.

      • It's a poorly written column. Not because of the stance it argues, but because it does not address, in any amount, the numerous concerns held by the community. It's poorly-written not because of the one-sided incendiary language, but because it provides little context of the situation today, on that street. It's poorly-written not because it describes the irrelevant background of the proprietors, but because it frames it in a way that makes race the seat of further debate.

        Emily isn't the only one that was reminded of tabloids when she read this. I would have loved to read a well-written, even-handed article defending the public good of granting of another full-license to a 200 occupant, 2-level, open-past-midnight establishment in a resolution zone that has a history of fighting and vandalism. I guess I'll have to look elsewhere.

  52. People keep mentioning bars and clubs and fail to realize that this is a restaurant. Until someone can show us otherwise, I will continue to take the guys trying to open this up at their word.

    Now why did CB3's SLA committee just approve a 4AM Liquor License on Ludlow in a resolution area? That application was just approved last month and I didn't see any opposition to that License.

    Only to these guys?

    • We need another Ludlow Street block association like the one headed up by the late Marcia Lemon.People on Ludlow have grown too apathetic.

  53. clayton patterson

    Mike McG. IN 1998, 4 of us attending the 7th Precinct Community Council brought up the fact that accompanying all the new bars there was a serious increase in quality of life crimes in our part of the LES- Houston to Delancey. At one meeting were told by Captain Cooper our area had now been designated an Entertainment Zone. As noted earlier the Club that opened at the end of my block was crime central in this part of the hood. Over the years there have been shootings, stabbings, street brawls, an illegal bottle club and so on.

    We did engage in a battle to stop this from becoming a Spring Break Entertainment Zone. We continued to ask questions relating to the increase in crime which lead to our being banned from the precinct council. The die was cast. There was a flood of new bars and liquor licenses. It did not matter what the law said, what the rules were, or what the codes stipulated- we became an Entertainment Zone. There was very little support for us in our efforts to stop this wild, crazy, and out of control, party.

    Now we are an Entertainment Zone. It is like it or leave it. I decided to stay. I now realize it is not the liquor license that matters. It is the owners of the clubs or bars. For example: Mercury Lounge around the corner from me does not seem to have many problems. Arlene's Grocery is fine. The people who live across the street from Piano's say the noise can be unbearable. . You live here you know were the noise is coming from.

    Since we are an Entertainment Zone, the law should be centered on who breaks the law, and who causes the most problems.

    And it is wrong to suggest that the part of the community west of Essex Street is the only problem area. East of Essex definitely has it's problems with noise and drunks, as well as, an increase in murder and other violent crimes. And if you believe that there is no violent crime down here check this out.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/graphic-foota

    More licenses are to come. Do you honestly believe if the hotel is build on Ludlow, across from Katz, that they will not get a license– dream on.

  54. This whole race thing was made up by the opposing party. I know what the story was. Let's make up these comments that way these latinos look like there throwing in the race card, then susan would play the victim and reaches out to Ms.Mendez a latin council woman, and claims her heart felt story. Convinces ms. Mendez to publicly say to her latinos stop the racism calling, going against a "BAR" is not racist… Nice try guys! I could read between the lines. You are asking why they insist on Hell Square? Well, there are lots of reason's why, Ill give you a few. First reason since this license got denied CB3 has approved several full liquor licenses in which you consider Hell Square, Don't go by what Im saying go look at the CB3 calendar and minutes. Second they have overwhelming support from this community. Third they have other successful businesses in this area. Fourth they live in the neighborhood so they would be more attentive to there business unlike the owners that don't. Fifth they are a restaurant, different from anything on this block an in Hell Square. They are a symbol to this community!!!

  55. I applaud Clayton Patterson for writing this article. I don't remember Mike Mcg getting so defensive when all the other articles that were written to favor Susan and her goon squad from the so called LES Dwellers. As a good friend of mine likes to say. HEY MIKE Mcg go that way!!! The numbers speak for themselves and a fine latin restaurant is something I want in MY neighborhood. Oh and yes maybe even a nice glass of RUM from the island where my parents were born would be nice. Thank you very much!!!!

  56. I have lived on Ludlow Street for over 30 years and do not care whether or not these guys are from the neighborhood,and how hard they have worked.So have a lot of people.And I am tired of this being made into a racial issue.The fact remains that we do not need another bar/club in this already saturated area.I will personally send the SLA an email voicing my objections to this establishment as my courtyard faces Rivington.And as for those of you who have trashed Ms Stetzer,and LES Dwellers,at least they care about the quality of life in this neighborhood!

  57. @franny51 show me where is there a court yard on that block,do you even know what place there talking about here? By the way the trash talking was done by the dwellers, they wrote all these racist comments to look likethe victims. Save me the talk franny 51 but you should have more respect for your neighbors!!! Go get facts from Mr. patterson himself before you start yapping bar/club. Its a (LATIN) restaurant!!! PS: who care about you and your 30 years Jose has 40 years in this neighborhood!!!

  58. Yea franny51 since you,stetzer and her little group of clowns care so much about your neighborhood, why didn't you and them oppose the full liquor license approved 30-0 in favor with a 4am closing???

  59. Ludlow resident

    I agree with you felipe i just saw the minutes on the website. I guess nobody could answer that question. If that's not racial profiling then what the hell is it?

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