A group of West Village residents are concerned that a new venture from Dominique Ansel —famous creator of the much hyped Cronut—will bring rowdy early morning crowds to the neighborhood, despite promises that Ansel's most famous pastry will not be served.
Neighbors to the forthcoming "Dominique Ansel Kitchen," to open at 137 7th Avenue sometime in spring, spoke against the eatery's 28 person outdoor seating area and 8 a.m. opening time at last night's Community Board 2 meeting.
Residents of nearby 161 and 163 West 10th Street, whose apartments overlook 7th Avenue, are especially concerned that the noise from the sidewalk cafe will be too disruptive in an area already kept up late by an active nightlife scene. James Hirsch, who lives adjacent to the bakery's soon-to-open home, worries that young children and older residents will suffer the most, and suggested that Ansel and his team open at 10 a.m. instead.
One woman, a representative of the Far West Tenth Street Block Association, cites Ansel's explosive popularity as a noise and crowd concern. "It's not simply a plain old bakery. This is a wonderful, skillful, elite, delicious venue, but it is a global venue and it's a media-driven venue," she said. "I don't know of any bakery that has a full liquor license and hundreds of people waiting at five or six in the morning.”
Amy Ma, co-owner of Dominique Ansel Kitchen, offered a compromise: The bakery would close by 7 p.m., and most stunningly, would not serve the Cronut. What she could not offer, she said, was a later opening time on account of the business the eatery would lose from the morning rush.
The Community Board did approve the permit for the sidewalk seating, which will be open between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. As one board member who spoke in the bakery's favor put it: "People do not scream and yell when they sit having bagels.”