Friday, January 30, 2009

Kool Blue Update

I heard back from CB3, and it is likely to be within the rights of a restaurant to affix something to the exterior of the building if it's "within the building line" (whatever that is). So, gather all ye stand up eaters, but take heed and try not to touch anything.


Ken Mac said...

thanks for your comments...I didn't even notice the "why go far from the bus" sign!

Anonymous said...

The building line is usually 3 feet from the furthest point from the front of the building. As long as they don't have seating they probably aren't breaking any rules or laws.

Quick question, you seem pretty angry about the place opening, and I am just wondering, why? It's probably not a place I will ever eat at, but unless they become an annoying neighbor I don't really see them as a problem.

Jill said...

Thanks for the details, that is good to know.

To answer your question, first of all, I'm just cranky in general, and tend toward the dramatic.

What disturbs me is the lack of small businesses that provide affordable groceries. Instead, restaurants and bars keep opening to the exclusion of a more diverse range of businesses. For example, we no longer have a butcher or fishmonger in the neighborhood. So many of our local Korean markets have closed, and those that are left carry only tomatoes and apples. They've become more bodega-like and less fresh food like. What I really miss are the 2 markets that used to be on 14th St. They created a vacuum in my world of grocery shopping that I wish was filled. The guys on the streets are terrific, but they don't have the variety. For example, they would never have parsnips.

I went into 4 stores last week until I found parsnips, which ought to be in season now. Maybe there's a parsnip crisis I hadn't heard about.

In general, yet another restaurant catering to yunnies is just not what I had hoped for.

And about the outdoor eating, it encourages even more gathering and noise on the street. 12th St has been very quiet since the International Bar closed and The Raven burned down. The Cock was noisy about once a month on a Saturday night, and other than that they were closed. If Kool Blue keeps late hours and feeds the drunk people, we will be in for a new source of high levels of noise, especially if they don't open the restaurant for seating.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering my question, I sort of figured you were a bit cranky in general based on the scanning your ID post and the restaurant bathroom post. I am glad you can at least admit you are cranky, so many cranky people can't. I am a cranky person as well, though towards different things.

I totally agree with you about the lack of small businesses in the area. I am saddened on a daily basis at this point seeing places that have been here for 10-20 years disappear out of nowhere. Sometimes I can't even remember what was in a spot that is being gutted. I know that where the Hot and Crusty is now there was a Subway Sandwich place, which was at least affordable. But I can't for the life of me remember what was actually on the corner of 14th and 1st Avenue.

Although I don't usually go to the butcher or the fishmonger, it does suck that we don't have one of those here anymore. We don't even have a good bagel place anymore. But to be honest, if I want good fish or meat I tend to go down to Chinatown since their stuff looks so much better than what you buy up here, and their prices are at least in line with, or better than, what we have up here.

And although Kool Blue is sort of a restaurant, I prefer an all night place to another expensive restaurant serving $25 mediocre food that should be $10. If I am going to eat a not so great burger (though I have never tried theirs, I just haven't found a better burger place than Paul's in over 20 years), I would rather go to a place that is open late or all night, even if I am not exactly their normal drunk and stumbling home clientele. I tend to sleep days and do things at night, so all night businesses are always popular in my world.

As for noise on the street, 12th Street has always been one of the most quiet blocks in the neighborhood. Even when Mundial and The Raven and The Cock were open, this was still a pretty quiet block. Of course, 15 years ago we had to deal with drug delis and dealers on the street, so there is always a trade off.

I would say that considering the landlord was asking about $12,000 a month for Kool Blue's space at one point, I am guessing they will be opening soon to get as many more customers as possible.

At least they didn't get Old Devil Moon's space!

Anonymous said...

I live a couple of doors down from Kool Blue and also worry that once the weather gets warmer the corner will be swarming with loud drunk people eating at those counters they attached to the wall.

My bigger fear is that a bar with open in the old Mundial space. I fought with them for two years about the noise coming from that bar. They just wouldn't turn down the music. It was even worse for the people who lived above it. It was also bad when Totem, another bar, was there before Mundial.

I hear an organic restaurant is opening up in the Old Devil Moon space. I would rather it was Old Devil Moon, but at least it won't be another bar.

Does anyone know what will open in the old Ciao For Now space?

Jill said...

I also tried to talk reason with the owner of Mundial to no avail. He was a liar and an asshole. We spent many evenings planning fake revenge on them.

I doubt anything will open in Ciao for Now for a while. The landlords clearly don't care about getting rent for this space, as they wouldn't negotiate to keep Ciao for Now there, and they haven't found a tenant for the Jubb space or the caterer's old space (which is filled with crap from the apartment renovations).

In a previous post, the owner of Old Devil Moon vouched for the new restaurant owners, so it sounds good so far that they will be a good addition to the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

They won't be trying to rent the old Caio For Now space since they are trying to sell the building. The way it works is that a building is much more sellable if it is empty, or partially empty. The only way they are going to rent it is if it is a short lease and a high rent. And considering the economy at this moment, it probably won't be rented by anyone unless they are doing something illegal. The old East Village could end up creeping back in!

I'm not too worried about Kool Blue doing well. Their rent is probably ridiculously high, and it doesn't seem like they have their shit together if they can't even open up their dining area.

As for the bar noise, I know I seem to be in the minority, but I live just a few doors down and it has never really bothered me except in rare circumstances. I don't feel that it has ever been that much of a disruption, and my bedroom is on the street side. I guess I also feel that when you live in Manhattan there is a certain amount of noise that you have to expect. This block could end up being way noisier, especially if Caio For Now or Jubb's ends up a bar or late night place, which is totally a possibility.

By the way, I am pretty sure the renovations in the Caio For Now building are being done without the proper permits, and a couple calls to 311 would either put a stop to them for a while, or at least cause that asshole landlord a few troubles. I've put in my time making those calls before, and it's amazing how gratifying they can be to make sometimes!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the place replacing Old Devil Moon, but I am a realist and since I haven't seen anything at all going on down there, I fear the deal isn't completely done, or might not even happen. This is pure speculation on my part. Plus nothing can ever replace Old Devil Moon.

Jill said...

The permits for the renovations in the Ciao for Now building are all in order and up to date. There was a time when there was a Stop Order and they continued to work despite the Stop Order, but it has since been fixed. There are ZERO penalties for construction continuing during a Stop Work Order, at least in this case. The city just doesn't give a shit.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I know all too well how little the penalties are in situations like this. I think at most the landlords get charged $2000 at most for breaking all the rules. Which means nothing compared to the benefits of continuing the work. The only reason to keep reporting them is the fact that it all goes on public record for the building, which is even viewable online at the Department of Buildings. Plus if ever the Department of Buildings start to do their jobs, there will be a record of all these offenders ready for the court cases that might eventually happen. Plus it does piss off the landlords, they do pay attention even if they continue to break the law.