It looks like residents of the Soho block recently taken over by Delicatessen–one of whom peed on the restaurant’s glass roof in early September–still have not warmed up to their loud, cocktatil-gulping neighbor. Via Eater, we bring you what they are calling “one of the best reader emails of all time“:
But it gets better.
As my friend and I are about to start our meal, all of a sudden a bunch of people in the apartments above the sidewalk tables simultaneously dump buckets of water down on the people dining below. (Luckily, my friend and I were just out of reach.) I don’t know if they used buckets or pots, or if it was even water in them (I shudder to think otherwise), but it was a big sheet of something liquid and soaked at least four of five tables worth of patrons.
To add insult to injury, while these poor patrons were sitting in shock looking up at what happened, the people in the apartments then hit them with a second blast, scattering everyone for cover inside the restaurant, and forcing the waitstaff to have to reissue everyone’s meals. Next thing you know, there’s a bunch of patrons standing out in the street screaming up at the people in the apartments looking trying to instigate a brawl. Somehow, some way, the cops were never called and the situation quickly calmed down. (But of course no one would sit below those apartment units after that.)
Is this what it’s come down to?
It’s the latest in a series of Manhattan turf battles. Below, a roundup of some of the year’s most compelling nightlife vs. neighborhood disputes:
Beatrice Inn: West Village residents have long had it out for the ultra-hip nightclub, which took over the space once occupied by a cozy neighborhood Italian place. West Villagers–including Amy Sedaris!–rallied to prevent the renewal of the club’s liquor license, but it turned out there was little they could do. As we reported last month, owners Paul Sevigny and Matthew Abramyck had obtained the new paperwork before the angry mob even had a chance to make its voice heard at the community board meeting. Despite the club’s debaucherous reputation, they have yet to officially run afoul of the State Liquor Authority, which leaves the neighbors without a case.
The Box: The Lower East Side cabaret has also garnered quite a reputation over the course of the last two years. On the inside, owner Simon Hammerstein has been accused of abusing and harassing his staff. Meanwhile, they managed both to annoy the neighbors and the SLA, which have accused them of misrepresentation on their original liquor license. While a community board voted to deny the renewal of their liquor license last month, another owner, Randy Weiner, promised to work on resolving the current issues, and managed to get the final vote delayed until October 20th.
Death & Co.: Known for its crafted signature cocktails, this speakeasy-style hangout has had nothing but trouble from day one. Back in February ’07, East Villagers reported “that neighborhood seniors are scared of Death & Co.’s name. … Though Death’s name comes from a Prohibition-era anti-drinking propaganda piece, neighbors (according to those who spoke at the meeting) find it reminiscent of Nazi fascism and believe the stark cedar exterior recalls an Auschwitz rail car.” Another, slightly less hysterical neighbor complained, “A restaurant with no windows seems like an affront.” Later that month, the SLA denied a liquor license renewal, claiming that a “small plates” menu did not a restaurant make (owner David Kaplan had originally billed his venture as a quiet eatery). Finally, after paying thousands of dollars in fines and abiding by a midnight bedtime, Mr. Kaplan sued the SLA and is back to his old routine–for now.
Bella’s/Southside: The basement bar attached to post-graduate clubhouse Bar Martignetti never managed to charm its Nolita neighbors. Owners Anthony Martignetti and James Willis’s solution? Shut it down, remodel, change the door policy (no more popped collars!), rename it Southside, and hope for the best. The doors reopened just last night, so it’s currently too soon to say how the reincarnated lounge will fare.