The Wing Soho Opens at 52 Mercer Street

The Wing, born out of the belief that women need and deserve a multi-purpose space designed to make their lives easier, and that magic is created when women gather together, opened its second Manhattan location at 52 Mercer Street last week, and was just approved for a liquor license. Founded by Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassen, this member’s club and co-working space designed for women opened its flagship at 45 East 20th Street, and is now expanding to the Clocktower building in Dumbo. Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be a part of The Wing team.

Chef Masa’s Tetsu to Open

After more than four years, the long-awaited Tetsu restaurant, created by world-renown chef Masa Takayama, will open this month at 78 Leonard Street. The restaurant will feature an a la carte menu for casual dining, as well as a Chef’s Tasting Menu, comprised of 15-20 courses of Chef Masa’s creative interpretation of Japanese cuisine. Chef Masa is also the owner and chef of the Japanese and sushi restaurant Masa located in the Time Warner Center. Bernstein Redo, PC is proud to be part of the Tetsu team.

City Council Repeals 1926 Cabaret Law

Last week, the New York City Council voted nearly unanimously to repeal what is referred to as the Cabaret Law, subchapter 20 of chapter 2 of title 20 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York. That section had required premises where there is dancing or other conditions stated in the law to obtain a cabaret license from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

The Cabaret Law was first introduced in 1926 to supposedly crack down on racketeers, though according to the October 30, 2017 City Council’s Committee Report of the Governmental Affairs Division, Committee on Consumer Affairs, some argued the law’s true aim was to prevent interracial mingling in Harlem jazz clubs. Over the decades there were a number of legal challenges to the law; some were successful and certain provisions of the cabaret law were struck down, and some, specifically related to dancing, were not. Many venues, including hotels and restaurant/lounges, that are not nightclubs, have suffered violations of the law simply when patrons standing at the bar dance or sway to music. This often resulted in the issuance of criminal court summonses, and license revocations proceedings by the New York State Liquor Authority. Enforcement however has been inconsistent.

After an exhaustive review and intense lobbying, the new local law sponsored by Councilmember Rafael Espinal and approved by the City Council repeals subchapter 20 and does away with the requirement to obtain a cabaret license for public dancing from the Department of Consumer Affairs. No specific permit will be required specifically for dancing under the new regulation, once it becomes law.

For premises that carry zoning use group 12, however, the new law still imposes requirements that are important to be aware of. Use group 12 applies to large entertainment facilities and includes pool halls, bowling alleys, eating and drinking establishments with entertainment for over 200 people, or any premises where there is public dancing. The new requirements include having digital video surveillance cameras at all entrances and exits with specific light and speed requirements that must be in operation during all hours of operation and for two hours after closing. The recordings must be preserved for a minimum of 30 days and signs must be posted notifying the public of the use of video surveillance. The new regulations will also require eating and drinking establishments that operate under use group 12 to have proof that each security guard and security guard company is registered as required by law. The law also specifically denotes what constitutes a security guard.

The repeal and new rules are awaiting signature by the mayor whereupon after a 120 day waiting period it will become law.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Returns to New York

For six years L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, which first opened in Paris is 2003, had an outpost in the Four Seasons hotel in New York, closing five years ago. Now it is back, moving into the former Colicchio and Sons space at 85 Tenth Avenue at 15th Street. Internationally famed French Chef Robuchon has been honored with 25 Michelin stars, more than any other chef. He has ten other locations worldwide. The new restaurant on Tenth Avenue will have L’Atelier’s signature counter seating facing into the kitchen, a 50 seat bar and lounge, and two private dining rooms. Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be a part of the L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon team.

NoMad Bar Voted Best Bar in North America

The NoMad Bar at 10 W. 28th Street was voted number 3 on the list of the World’s Best Bars, and topped the chart at number 1 for best bar in North America. The awards, announced in London on October 5, 2017 were given by more than 500 members of the Best Bars Academy who are drink experts and writers and cocktail specialists. The NoMad bar opened in 2014 and in its short history has become one of the essential bars in the city with jaw-dropping large format cocktail explosions, some crafted with rare spirits. We congratulate our client. Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be part of the NoMad Hotel and NoMad Bar team.

Bouley Test Kitchen 21 Opens

Chef David Bouley is set to open a new version of his test kitchen concept, Bouley Test Kitchen 21, at 31 W. 21st St. in Manhattan. Chef Bouley, a Michelin Star and James Beard awardee, is extending his operation of the test kitchen experience to the new location complete with an open kitchen, demonstration islands, and a large event space for classes, lectures and other programming. Beyond offering an incredible dining experience, Chef Bouley intends to educate patrons on the importance of using fresh, healthy ingredients and identify the correlation between the elements of a meal and an individual’s overall well-being. Beyond serving, Chef Bouley and his team will teach customers how to properly prepare healthy meals.

Congratulations to Chef Bouley on his recently received doctorate of humane letters from the University of Connecticut for his work in the expanding field of research related to food, health and diet, as well as his lifetime achievement awards from the Ceiliac Disease Center at Columbia University, and the Rogosin Institute affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical College.
Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be a part of Chef Bouley’s Test Kitchen team.

Class on Restaurant Leases

On Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. Donald Bernstein will be teaching a Continuing Legal Education class at the National Law Institute on restaurant leases. The three hour course, appropriate for attorneys as well as others interested in common issues faced in negotiating and drafting a restaurant lease, will cover the most significant issues a practitioner or business owner may face. These issues included use clauses, assignment and subletting provisions, contingency clauses and how liquor license and other permitting issues impact lease negotiations, default and termination provisions including fire and demolition clauses, landlord representations, good guy guaranties, and many other issues. Registration for the course can be found here: http://nationallawinstitute.com/class/restaurant-leases-a-new-york-city-review/. For any other questions about this class please contact Sheri@brpclaw.com.

Danny Meyer’s Caffe Marchio Opens Today

Restauranteur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group is opening Roman-themed Caffe Marchio today in the Redbury Hotel at 29 East 29th Street. Caffe Marchio will serve breakfast sandwiches and traditional baked goods by pastry chef Jessica Weiss, braised meats and other dishes. Union Square Hospitality Group already operates the restaurant Marta in the Redbury. Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be part of the Union Square Hospitality team.

The Shed—An Innovative New Building Along the Highline

Have you seen it yet? Opening in spring 2019 and currently under construction, The Shed, to be located next to 15 Hudson Yards, will be a multi-arts center designed for performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture. The eight level 200,000 square foot base structure will be a center for artistic invention bringing together leading artists working in multiple art forms.
The most distinctive feature of this eight million pound building will be its outer shell that slides over the adjoining outdoor plaza with six feet wide wheels to provide a 120-foot-high, temperature-controlled hall. As the building expands and contracts, it can work in many configurations, allowing multiple events simultaneously including a theater for up to 1,250 guests. The shell rolled out for a test run this past May. The Shed is a registered nonprofit cultural organization. This will be quite a unique venue. More about it can be found at www.theshed.org . Bernstein Redo, P.C. is proud to be part of The Shed team.

Zoning Restrictions – Beware

An article in the New York Times on August 24, 2017 bemoaned the high rents and vacant storefronts in SoHo. Retail rents soared between 2010 and 2014 by 90%, far above other areas of Manhattan. The area became a hub of large flagship stores, such as the 55,000 square foot Nike store on Broadway and Spring Street. Local residents, block associations, and even elected officials were not so happy about that, wanting instead to retain their vision of SoHo with low-scale buildings, artists’ lofts, and small independent retailers. Towards that end, there are special zoning restrictions in SoHo that limit the size of stores to no more than 10,000 square feet. There are also specific zoning restrictions in SoHo and other parts of the City that limit the size of eating and drinking establishments. The Zoning Resolution limits eating drinking establishments in M1-5A and M1-5B districts to 5,000 square feet. Other portions of the Resolution limit other areas to 3,500 square feet. Be aware of these restrictions if you are planning to open a restaurant or bar, and speak with a zoning expert.