West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 17 | Sept. 26 - Oct. 2, 2007

Forty Deuce gets 86’d at C.B. 2

By Lincoln Anderson

Community Board 2 last Thursday night voted to rescind its prior approval of a liquor license for Forty Deuce, a retro burlesque club planned at 19 Kenmare St. in the Little Italy and Chinatown area. The vote was unanimous, with one abstention.

About 150 opponents of the license application turned out, most of them Chinatown residents, filling the majority of the 224 seats in St. Vincent’s Cronin Auditorium on W. 12th St. A single line of more people stood ringing the auditorium’s perimeter.

The board previously approved a liquor license for the club — a venture of Ivan Kane with partners Sting and David Bowie — in April, but decided to revisit the issue after community members protested that they hadn’t had sufficient time to organize their opposition.

In its resolution passed last week, the board noted that a petition with 1,800 signatures against the license had been collected in seven days; that local organizations, such as the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and Chinatown Head Start program, were all opposed to the license; that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Martin Connor and Councilmember Alan Gerson wrote letters to the State Liquor Authority requesting denial of the application; and that 26 establishments holding an on-premise liquor license are located within 500 feet of the location.

After the vote, Chinatown residents milling around in the hall outside the meeting expressed relief. Bars have overwhelmed the neighborhood, they said.

“You have the traffic and the drinking. I don’t like that,” said Nina Chen, 43, who lives on Spring St.

“Before it was a great neighborhood,” said her brother, David Chen, 44, a Mott St. resident. “Right now, with the bars, it’s always more and more — and the horn — and criminal. We have crime now. Before it was very nice.”

The siblings immigrated to New York from southern China about 20 years ago and work as garment assemblers in Chinatown.

Nina Chen was asked just how many bars there are around where she lives.

“More! More! More!” she said. “One block, at least two. Sometimes they have three. It’s crazy.”

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