Insanely popular southern comfort BBQ restaurant Pies 'N' Thighs is in trouble with the Community Board that oversees Williamsburg. The restaurant is currently up for a liquor license renewal, but the board is threatening to withhold its recommendation for the license, all because of some benches the owners installed on the front exterior of the restaurant. No food or drink is served on the benches, but the Community Board is playing hardball with the restaurant... because we certainly can't have people sitting outside and talking on the Southside of Williamsburg!
“They’re doing so well they have to come up with a better way to handle the clientele, and having illegal benches in front of Pies ’n‘ Thighs is not a solution,” CB1 member Rob Solano tells the Brooklyn Paper. “The sidewalk is not an extension of the restaurant and everyone should play by the same rules.” Does this mean the Community Board will also call for a crackdown on everyone who sits outside on South Fourth Street in the summer, setting up folding chairs and Dominoes tables on the sidewalk? Or does this just apply to gentrifying connoisseurs of haute southern cuisine?
We're guessing the latter, and frankly, the board's staunch anti-bench stance seems a tad unreasonable. Felice Kirby, the owner of Teddy's Bar, agrees, and tells the Paper, "There shouldn’t be loud disturbances, but that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with chairs and benches." A Pies 'N' Thighs rep tells us the restaurant has received zero noise complaints, and, again, they're not serving food or drinks out there—it's just a place for customers so sit while they throw their lives away on an insanely long wait for a brunch table. On the other hand, we guess we're not in Kokie's anymore, Toto.
Nevertheless, the restaurant's owners are trying to work with the Community Board. "We were misrepresented in the [Brooklyn Paper] article," Caroline Bane at Pies 'N' Thighs tells us. "We always planned to remove the benches if we have to, and if they want us to take the benches away, we will." They're also considering applying for a cafe license, so it could be the benches will survive, and you'll be able to legally inhale fried chicken as loudly as you want on the sidewalk. Of course, then people waiting for a table will have to find somewhere else to sit. May we suggest the fire hydrant showers down the street?