The Matlock of New York Bar Battles

Which place is this?

Tonic East. The community board was told that this was going to be a place called the Kitchen. That was the original name of it. It was gonna be a straight restaurant.

And then all that was changed after they got their license. The people living around there are very upset.

So now we have convinced the authority to initiate enforcement proceedings against the club for misrepresentations on their initial application.

Shouldn’t restaurateurs have some leeway to adapt their business?

Well, if it’s gonna have that much of a dramatic change in impact, then they’ve gotta go back and say, “This is a different type of operation.” And that should trigger a new public hearing under the 500-foot law, so that the community board and the public can at least weigh in.

Another ongoing case involves Lola on Watts Street, which threatens to end your undefeated streak. The appellate courts recently ruled in the restaurateurs’ favor. The venue now has its license, and construction is underway.

Well, we haven’t lost yet: The appellate division also said we could go back into court. I think, in the end, that we’ll prevail. [The restaurant] may be able to be there, but in a way that will have less of an impact on the community.