A Barnard professor whose apartment is located maddeningly close to Nolita "hotspot" La Esquina has predicted that the exclusive subterranean lounge will one day claim the lives of trendy scenesters and flashy celebs. But don't get too excited—the Buildings Department is trying to save them.
Local NIMBY gadfly Georgette Fleischer has made it her business to speak out at community meetings and make complaints about the neighborhood's noisy nightlife. According to Eater, she recently surfaced at a community board meeting to speak out against chef Michael White's planned trattoria, declaring that she's trapped "in a nightspot-hopping area that leaves residents like me awakened at two, three, four in the morning when these drunk and drugged-out fleets move fabulously from one hotspot to the next." In other words, she lives in downtown Manhattan. But last week she was able to bring the heat down on La Esquina by calling 311 to complain about smoke being vented from the restaurant and noise from the outdoor seating.
"The restaurant owners are acting like barbarians and playing fast and loose with safety issues," Fleischer tells the Post. "It's only a matter of time before someone loses their life." After looking into her complaints, inspectors agreed, and shut down La Esquina for "conditions in this premises are imminently perilous to life." Co-owner Derek Sanders says, "They wrote a series of violations all citing the new 2008 building code, even though our building has always fallen under the older code. This is going to take days to resolve, at the very least, and we are losing revenue, and paying our staff, which has been with us for years."