Kiss the Nice Guy Eddie’s Mural Goodbye?

UntitledDaniel maurer

“Are you keeping the Kiss mural?” That’s what David Conn of Community Board 3’s S.L.A. Committee wanted to know last night about the restaurant that will replace Nice Guy Eddie’s.

“We’re discussing; it depends on the windows,” said Darren Rubell, the co-owner of Ella and Gallery Bar who plans to turn the 16-year-old bar into a comfort-food restaurant with large windows. Mr. Rubell pledged to take the sentimental value of Chico’s longstanding mural into consideration before making a final decision. “It’s been blogged about,” he said, “I’m keeping an eye on it. It’s iconic.”

The committee recommended an approval of the new venue’s full liquor license, with the added stipulation that it close sidewalk windows by 10 p.m. The new space – previously owned by committee member David McWater, who did not vote on the item last night – will include seating for 39 guests and operate from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. on weekends.

Meanwhile, another neighborhood long-timer, Joe’s Bar, will continue to operate much like the old space under new ownership and a derivative name, Josie’s.

CB3-1Natalie Rinn

One neighbor spoke out last night against the continued operation of the bar, claiming bad history with the late owner Joe Vajda. “Joe chased me down the street with a beer mug and wanted to kill me,” said the long-time resident. “The best thing that happened in this area was the day that Joe’s closed.”

But committee members supported the transfer of assets to the owners of Sophie’s and Mona’s, given that Joe’s had been continuously operating since 1973 – a good twenty years before the S.L.A.’s 500-foot rule was created to limit new licenses on streets that already had many.

“It is a historical venue that meant a lot to a lot of people there,” said Mr. McWater.

DarrenRubellNatalie Rinn Darren Rubell (in hat) addresses the committee.

Meanwhile, there were a couple of withdrawn applications, starting with The Standard East Village. District Manager Susan Stetzer said representatives of the hotel would probably appear next month after solidifying plans for a dining overhaul. The committee voted to recommend a denial of the Pyramid Club’s request for a liquor license renewal, since no one from the club showed up to address complaints about noise and crowd control. And Porchetta withdrew its bid for beer and wine due to an incomplete application. They’ll return next month.

Finally: Extra Spot is set to serve Swiss and Mediterranean food and offer beer and wine with 46 seats. Owners plan to make the whole outdoor seating area available to the public, not customers alone.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post stated that The Standard East Village was a “no show” at the meeting. Though representatives of the hotel in fact did not show at the meeting, the relevant sentence has been reworded slightly to make clearer that they formally withdrew their application ahead of the meeting in order to continue discussions with the block association.