Shakeup On A: Diablo Royale Este Closes, Bar On A ‘Temporarily Closed’ As Well

diabloDaniel Maurer

A couple of troubled establishments on Avenue A have closed, and it’s uncertain whether they’ll reopen. A sign on the window of Diablo Royale Este indicates the Mexican spot is closed “until further notice” and redirects patrons to the West Village original. And a reader uses our Virtual Assignment Desk to express concern about Bar on A, also between 10th and 11th Streets: “The last couple times I’ve walked by it’s been closed,” writes the tipster. The bar’s outgoing phone message indicates, without explanation, that it is indeed “temporarily closed.”

Both businesses had a troubled history. Bar on A’s owner, Bob Scarrano, died in 2010 after surgery to address esophageal cancer, and his widow fell behind on the rent, according to an associate of the bar who spoke to The Local in May. That associate said at the time that an upstairs neighbor had called 311 numerous times in an attempt to shut down the bar. The neighbor said she was only trying to resolve “excessive noise” issues. In July, EV Grieve noticed a listing indicating that bar’s space was on the market.

Diablo Royale’s headaches were similar: during an acrimonious community board meeting last November, neighbors who had been complaining of noise since 2010 accused the restaurant of “contributing to turning Avenue A into a booze-filled entertainment zone.” In turn, its owner, Jason Hennings, accused Susan Stetzer, the recently reviled district manager of the board, of engaging in something that was “indicative of a witch hunt,” since she had sent an inquiry to the Department of Buildings regarding the legal status of the bar’s back garden and was told it was operating illegally. (The restaurateur did not respond to a message, left yesterday, regarding the anti-Stetzer flyers.) That issue came up again in May, when Mr. Hennings refused to agree to close the back patio earlier and the State Liquor Authority declined to renew his liquor license, which had technically expired in December. Shortly after the hearing, Eater noticed that the restaurant’s space was on the market.

We’ve made inquiries into both closings and will let you know what we hear. In the meantime, there’s also good news on the block. The Beagle has reopened as a proper cocktail den, as promised. Eater interviewed bartender Tom Richter last week.