The standoff between the large cluster of crowded bars on the Lower East Side and the community groups that oppose them was taken to another level yesterday as one establishment turned the tables on the activists, filing a lawsuit against them in Manhattan Supreme Court. Ludlow Street's coincidentally-named No Fun bar filed a defamation lawsuit yesterday again L.E.S. Dwellers, the vocal community group which coined the evocative Hell Square moniker for the area's most densely saturated blocks. The bar seeks $2 million from what the Post calls the "snooty gadflies in the pesky block association."
The bar claims L.E.S. Dwellers went on a flyering campaign in the neighborhood to build opposition to the bar's certificate of occupancy and liquor license, hoping it would make for a stronger case with the SLA against renewing their license. L.E.S. Dwellers founder Diem Boyd did not immediately respond to our request for comment on the group's alleged actions, but told the NY Post the lawsuit was "meritless legal harassment."
There's a history of bad blood between the two sides, however. Last year, the community group made a successful case against the bar with the SLA, Bowery Boogie reported, whereby No Fun was only issued a temporary liquor license instead of a renewal.
"For over two years, the flashpoint block association has been working with affected residents and dispatching 'special ops' to collect intel at the rowdiest nightspots; they’ve researched, documented, and filed a series complaints with all the appropriate agencies alerting them to the illegal operations and bad practices," explains the website.
While the Post frames the story as one of a scrappy local business trying to survive against a NIMBY army, it's not that black-and-white. No Fun Bar originally presented themselves as a "full service tapas bar," but reports indicate it's more like its nightclub-like brethren, with DJs, velvet ropes, security details and the kind of patrons who might feel passionately about pastrami.