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Picket Fences: After Court Battle, Wechsler’s and International Split Backyard

Stephen Rex Brown

Go enjoy the lovely weather in International Bar’s backyard and you’ll be surprised to find a wooden fence splitting it in half. The divider is the result of a court battle roughly a year ago that pitted the owners of the bar against the neighboring German sausage and beer joint.

A co-owner of International Bar, Shawn Dahl, said that the landlord of both businesses, Steven Croman, had rented the whole backyard to International when it opened after its renovation, and subsequently rented half of it to Wechsler’s when it opened in 2009.

“When Wechsler’s came along it turned out that the landlord had rented them the backyard as well,” Ms. Dahl said, later adding, “I blame the landlord.” Read more…

C.B. 3 Agenda: Superdive Space Back on the Scene, and More

Angelica KitchenStephen Rex Brown Angelica Kitchen

It’s been a while since we last heard from the would-be proprietors of the Superdive space at 200 Avenue A. Now, the just-released Community Board 3 agenda reveals that they will once again seek a full liquor license. Previously, one of the curators of the space told The Local that she hoped to turn it into an art gallery with a full bar that would host special events and workshops. When that idea was pitched last summer it was met with formal letters of opposition from Councilwoman Rosie Mendez and Community Board 3.

A few other items of note from the agenda: Angelica Kitchen will seek a recommendation for a proper beer and wine license after being told to stop its B.Y.O.B. service in December. A couple of meat lover’s spots, Wechsler’s and Prime & Beyond, are aiming to extend into their backyards. A couple of newcomers are vying for new licenses on Avenue C: Bikinis at number 56 and a mystery restaurant at 116 (once Lava Gina and more recently Vibrations Lounge). And Keybar, which met opposition when it went for booze at 14 Avenue B and was last seen planning a Hungarian joint in the Angels and Kings space, now has designs on 134 Orchard Street.

Lastly, after celebrating its seven-year anniversary this month, Luzzo’s is undergoing an (at least partial) change in ownership.

For the full agenda, check out Community Board 3’s website.

Bratwurst With Birte at Wechsler’s

Wechsler's Currywurst and BratwurstRobyn Baitcher Wechsler’s Currywurst & Bratwurst, 120 First Avenue.

It was the second-to-last day of Oktoberfest at Wechsler’s, a midget wursthaus — more like a wurstkiosk — at 120 First Avenue, between Seventh Street and St. Marks Place. Andre Wechsler, the eponymous owner, had his barman/waiter/busboy pour a draft of Schneider Weisse beer and another of Radeberger Pilsener. Each arrived in a glass from its own brewery. It would be an insult to Andre to say the foam on each was just so — of course it was. Still, my friend Birte Kleemann, who ran an art gallery in Berlin before becoming director of The Pace Gallery in Chelsea, had a probing question: “Are these German strength, or American?” The typical alcohol level of German beer, Birte explained to me, was 5.45 percent, slightly above the strength of the dishwater served in this country. Andre solemnly averred that the provenance of both was pure German. “Actually,” he added, “the Schneider Weisse is 6.2 percent—special for Oktoberfest.”
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