Just in time for the new Depression, something that sounds like a courtroom scene about an embattled speakeasy (like the actual Prohibition kind, not Death & Co.): Monday night, Eater sat in on a community board meeting during which Lower East Side hotspot The Box was denied a renewal application for its liquor license. In response to the board’s complaint that the place was operating as “a club and cabaret,” as opposed to the “dinner theater” it was billed as on the original license, the owners reportedly “responded that the space is, in fact, a dinner theater but some people simply choose to have dinner at two in the morning.”
Alleged misrepresentation is just one of the club’s—er, dinner theater’s!—problems. Residents of the surrounding area say they are tired of wading through a sea of bottle-addled hipsters every time they walk down the block–the place has apparently been getting noise complaints since day one. Even more damning, people from the building next door showed up to inform the board that they often get carded trying to get into their apartments.
And if logistical issues don’t seem like enough to sink the operation, there have reports of interior problems, as well. As Gawker first noted, high-profile act the Porcelain Twinz recently cut ties with the Box and posted a lengthy explanation for their departure on their Myspace page, citing physical abuse and sexual harassment on the part of the ownership, filthy working conditions and, in one case, animal abuse (they really know how to go big over there!). Other employees have reportedly supported the claims.
The Box will have a chance to appeal the decision later this month; owner Simon Hammerstein didn’t return the Daily Transom’s request for a comment.