Attending a Community Board SLA Licensing meeting over Zoom is less exciting than attending one in person—for one, you don’t get to spent a few hours surrounded anxious restaurateurs and their lawyers sweat while waiting for their item to be called so they can find out whether or not they can actually make real money or just money on their investment—but on the plus side, you can attend it in pajamas from the comfort of your own home!
There were two no-shows from our area: Dos Caminos SoHo (seeking corporate change to pre-existing license) and Zutto Japanese American Bar, which was applying for a new full-liquor license at a new location on Broome. The most interesting no-show was P.F. Chang’s, a large national chain which is the Olive Garden of Chinese food; they’re applying for a very large space in the West Village and not a single person on their side showed up, but residents either opposed to them or hoping to get clear stipulations about future garbage removal did.
Saito on Kenmare had Daisuke Nakazawa (principal) and Michael Kelly (attorney) appearing on its behalf; these are the same people who’ve run the two previous Japanese restaurants in the space, except that the current space will be expanded. They agreed to stipulations that they will not be doing road bed dining (impossible in location), will return to the board if they want sidewalk dining in the future, and will never apply for a full liquor license as they will only be serving sake and soju.
Next was the item we were most excited about on the agenda: Mari Makan on Spring St. Another Indonesian restaurant from the Vongerichten clan, this time headlined by Ochi Vongerichten (who was born in Indonesia), it’s in the building right next to her husband Cedric’s restaurant Wayan. We heard from Vongerichten, Kade Siapno (general manager), and Martin Mehler (attorney) in their application for a full liquor license; they had to clarify that the space was not the one currently occupied by a frame shop (sharing the same address), has been empty for years, and will have neither sidewalk dining nor road bed seating (the latter because of a fire hydrant). Mari Makan will have six tables with twenty seats, five seats at the bar, and will apply European technique with a focus on seafood and vegetarian food, with a raw bar and a crude menu.
Last was the item we’ve been most curious about: Casa di Angelo, in the space occupied by Angelo’s of Mulberry from 1902 till March 2020. We confirmed with principal Iyad Hamsho that none of the previous Angelo’s owners are involved, though one of his new partners, Bruno Brancaleone, was a waiter at Angelo’s for over thirty years. They agreed to the following stipulations: 11 p.m. closing on weekdays, midnight on weekends, with the accordion doors closed at 9 p.m. Music is recorded only, no televisions, they’re not applying for outdoor seating currently but using the outdoor restaurant plans for now: 18-20 max seating in the road bed, with no speakers outside.