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johnder

Death and Company

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I was there monday night and it wasn't crowded. I think the cold weather is keeping the scenesters away.

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A friend of mine managed to simply walk in and snag a table at about 10 p.m. a week ago last Friday. Which is weird, cuz I was there the night before and it was, like, packed -- with a 45-minute wait to even sit at the bar.

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Thanks, everyone. I think we'll try it tonight and see what happens. We've been in both Pegu and Flatiron when they were crowded; hell, at Pegu, the bartender was stuck making White Russians, so we're used to crowds of amateur drinkers.

Mainly, we just don't want the long wait. If we can get seated immediately, we'll be happy, especially if it's at the bar where we can talk to the bartender.


Michael Dietsch

adashofbitters.com

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You know how it is. You start to wait, and then, to get out of the cold, you go down the block to Cherry Tavern and you see the blackboard listing the $5 tequila-and-Tecate deal, and before you know it you can't even remember that you're waiting anymore.


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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[EDIT: Or anything else, for that matter! Heh heh heh...]

A friend of mine managed to simply walk in and snag a table at about 10 p.m. a week ago last Friday.  Which is weird, cuz I was there the night before and it was, like, packed -- with a 45-minute wait to even sit at the bar.

It's inconsistent, crowd-wise. Part of the issue is the same problem that places like Prune or Tomoe have; it's just so small that either they're full, or they're not. There's no "bustling" or semi-busy" middle point.

Since I live two blocks away, if I'm hanging out with a friend I usually just walk by and see if a) someone I know is tending bar and b) how packed they are. It's ranged from walk in right away (on a Friday, no less) to wait forever and a day (on a Sunday, no less). In the latter case, I don't bother with the waitlist at all.


Edited by Mayur (log)

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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This is where Flatiron Lounge and Pegu Club have an advantage...you can virtually always get in.

Death & Co. is enough of a hike for me that I pretty much have to be eating in the neighborhood. But with time it should settle down (though certainly from the economic standpoint of the bar I'm sure they're happy with it staying continually full...as they should).

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I think that a) once the hubbub dies down and b) once they open the downstairs, it'll be a whole lot better.


Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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Just a heads up -- Death and Company when they took over the lease from the previous owner also inherited their liquor license. As a result their liquor license is coming up for renewal. As part of the renewal process they need to be present at the local community board hearing to answer questions and address complaints. The owners of Death and Company attended the local CB3 board meeting last night as part of the process to renew their license.

Unfortunately it seems the community is looking down upon D&C as it is more of a club rather than a tapas/cocktail place. Of the complainants last night, one was a local person concerned with the garbage pickup, and another was a representative from the local synagogue who is concerned about their proximity to the place. (The Synagogue is on 6th and 2nd Ave). The board is concerned that that come summer it will be a nightmare with an huge outside scene.

At the end of the meeting two motions were passed, one was to recommend the SLA (state liquor authority) investigate the proximity to the Synagogue; and the other was to recommend a decline to the SLA in regards to the renewal based upon they are not confirming to that they said in their transfer application -- serving small plates of food and operating as a restaurant, even after showing the menu to the chair woman outlining the food selections.

Unfortunately the next steps are bad, it is going to go down to lawyers and petitions, and trying to rally support for them at the next Community Board 3 Meeting on March 27th.

This just seems to highlight the bigger problem of the SLA recently, as it is getting harder and harder to obtain a license for legit places that want to serve food and drink, especially in the East Village.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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This showed up on Grub Street yesterday too, Johnder. It's really upsetting to me! We throughly enjoy Death & Co and look forward to our Monday evenings there.

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Move coverage of the license issue over at Death and Company, this time at the Villager

Death & Co., an upscale new nightspot that serves drinks and appetizers, has attracted glowing reviews and throngs of patrons since it opened at the beginning of January. But the bar and restaurant at 433 E. Sixth St. has also attracted sharp criticism from several neighbors and Community Board 3. In fact, with its ominous name and décor, Death & Co. actually has some neighbors scared, dredging up their worst nightmares — while other neighbors say their nights are literally haunted by the bar’s din.

At a Feb. 13 meeting, the State Liquor Authority & Economic Development Committee of C.B. 3 recommended to deny renewal of Death & Co.’s liquor license. The committee also recommended that the S.L.A. investigate Death & Co.’s proximity to a nearby synagogue, Anshe Meseritz.

At the heart of the conflict is the question of whether Death & Co. is a full-service restaurant, as owner David Kaplan initially told C.B. 3.

“We feel we were deliberately misled into thinking it was going to be a quiet restaurant,” said Joe Hurley, who lives above Death & Co. “The people on the block don’t want another bar.”

Jack Sal, of 431 E. Sixth St., said he phoned Death & Co. — pretending he wanted to make dinner reservations — and was told that the restaurant didn’t serve dinner.

“They have literally undermined the [licensing] process to create a bar under false pretenses,” Sal said. “They should have a license to match what they’re doing or they should do what matches the license.”

However, Kaplan said food sales account for 45 percent to 50 percent of his revenue, and added that the average table time at his restaurant is two hours. Death & Co. serves appetizer-sized “small plates,” including fish and chips, duck a l’orange and filet mignon, he said. The venue also serves cocktails and wines by the glass or bottle, he added.

It seems that one of their most serious concerns, being less than 200 feet away from a place of worship could be solved:

The synagogue’s proximity to Death & Co. isn’t just unpalatable to congregants — it also could be illegal, Alexandra Militano, the C.B. 3 S.L.A. Committee’s chairperson, said at the meeting. Bars cannot operate within 200 feet of a house of worship, and there are no exceptions to the rule, she said.

After last Thursday’s service at the Orthodox synagogue, Sussman counted 139 careful steps from Anshe Meseritz to Death & Co. — which would appear to be well under the 200-foot limit.

However, Kaplan has a copy of a six-year-old letter from an architect to C.B. 3, stating that the distance between the synagogue and Raga, the former restaurant at the spot, was at least 202 feet.

Unfortunately, they still need to go to the next CB3 hearing on the 27th and answer questions again.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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If they got their license by claiming to be a restaurant and are actually a bar, I, as an East Village resident, am not sympathetic. There is a problem with noise related to bars in this neighborhood, and bait and switch tactics are not acceptable. I say all of this irrespective of the situation with this particular bar, because why should it be an exception?


Michael aka "Pan

 

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they're as much a restaurant as Pegu Club...which did get its food reviewed by Bruni in a Diner's Journal column...

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More importantly, as one of the only five real cocktail establishments in all of NY, they need the help of anyone who actually cares about that (like egulleteers).

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If they got their license by claiming to be a restaurant and are actually a bar, I, as an East Village resident, am not sympathetic. There is a problem with noise related to bars in this neighborhood, and bait and switch tactics are not acceptable. I say all of this irrespective of the situation with this particular bar, because why should it be an exception?

You don't think the problem could be that E.vlgrs live too close to one of the better coctail bars in NY?

Just kidding but seriously, I bet they intended of serving more food. Just that the cocktails are too good.

Small plates or not the menu is somewhat ambitious......salmon/fillet tartare, oysters, procuito wrapped pears, etc etc......that's real food cost.....not like they're defrosting pigs n a blanket or opening a bag of nachos


That wasn't chicken

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I have eaten there, as my (and my husband's) sole evening meal, on multiple occasions. We ate multiple small plates, just like we do when we eat at Casa Mono or Boqueria.

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they're as much a restaurant as Pegu Club...

I think this is exactly the CB's position.

well, maybe we should petition Bruni to quickly do a food writeup in his blog.

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I agree that bait-and-switch tactics are not acceptable; however, I also do think that D&Co. is not the type of bar of which the East Village has too many. There are at least twenty dive bars within two or three blocks of me, any of which I could happily see perish. I only have one quiet, civilized, high-end cocktail spot in that same radius.

That said, class consciousness and a democratic sensibility do make it problematic to give D&Co. a free pass just because it's a *fancy* bar. But really, I can't imagine how it contributes negatively to the quality of the neighborhood, especially when I can think of several genuinely disgusting establishments right around it.


Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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well, maybe we should petition Bruni to quickly do a food writeup in his blog

Better yet, Nathan, ......PrimeTime Tables

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I don't think the existence of a food write-up by Bruni is going to be considered dispositive by anyone.

you can't tell me that it wouldn't be prima facie evidence that they're operating a restaurant? of course it would. it may not be dispositive in and of itself...but it sure as heck would help...

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I agree that bait-and-switch tactics are not acceptable; however, I also do think that D&Co. is not the type of bar of which the East Village has too many. There are at least twenty dive bars within two or three blocks of me, any of which I could happily see perish. I only have one quiet, civilized, high-end cocktail spot in that same radius.

That said, class consciousness and a democratic sensibility do make it problematic to give D&Co. a free pass just because it's a *fancy* bar. But really, I can't imagine how it contributes negatively to the quality of the neighborhood, especially when I can think of several genuinely disgusting establishments right around it.

see...since I am completely lacking in committment to the egalitarian delusion, I have no problem with saying that Death & Co. should be treated differently because of what it is.

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