Volume 75, Number 30 | December 14 - 20, 2005

Gastropub is making E. Fourth St. residents queasy

By Lincoln Anderson

A handful of East Villagers testified at the State Liquor Authority in Harlem on Tuesday against an application for a new liquor license for EU/European Union, a new gastropub planned at 235 E. Fourth St., just west of Avenue B. Voicing their opposition at the 500-foot-rule hearing were local residents Mark Hannay, Liz Glass and Ellyce di Paolo, as well as Bob Ortiz, a member of Community Board 3, and Susan Stetzer, C.B. 3 district manager.

A 500-foot-rule hearing may be held when a liquor license is proposed for a spot within 500 feet of three existing licenses.

Stetzer said she presented last week’s Villager cover story on the police crackdown on the Avenue B bar and club scene and the proposal to make the avenue one-way to help address the traffic and honking associated with nightlife there.

“It was perfect timing,” she said of the article, which she presented pasted up on the back of an old cardboard political campaign sign.

“They’re calling it a gastropub,” Stetzer said of EU’s concept, which it claims to be introducing from Europe. “I think they’re going to be really focused on the food. However, it is a 96-seat restaurant. People will drink. The neighborhood cannot accommodate another 96-seat place.” The location is in the board’s liquor-license moratorium area.

The applicant’s representatives noted that owner Robert Giraldi did a film for free for the Bloomberg administration promoting New York City for the 2012 Olympics. EU’s celebrity chef, Anne Burrell, also testified. “They had a traffic expert from Sam Schwartz [a traffic consultant] who had the nerve to say there will be no impact on traffic or parking spaces in the area,” Stetzer said.

An acoustical engineer also testified saying the place would be “acoustically sealed,” despite the fact that it has large glass garage-door-style windows and a service bar that opens through a window onto the street.

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