Hudson Clearwater, a West Village restaurant with a hidden entrance, is once again in hot water with neighbors who claim bar patrons are constantly knocking on their doors looking for the "secret" entrance. Besides having no visible sign advertising the space, the restaurant also conceals its proper entrance at night, meaning would-be patrons must make their way to the side door and through a garden to enter the bar. Unfortunately, befuddled customers can mistake apartment buildings for the restaurant, which residents say happens all the time. “When I’m outside having a cigarette, people come to the door and think it’s Clearwater," explained local Mike Duffy. "It’s probably happened 15 to 20 times."
According to Yelpers, finding the restaurant can indeed be difficult. Joanie K. called the restaurant "genius" but noted that "google maps will FAIL you. You will wander. Back & forth trying to find the entrance. You will look like an idiot. Consider it an induction (urban daddy language style)." Others had a little more luck: "Um...good luck finding this place!" says Jo. T "We hopped out of our cab and wandered the streets in the freezing cold trying to find the front door. A nice guy driving by saw us wandering and pointed us to a door around the side of the building." Well at least one local doesn't seem peeved to be acting as a tour guide!
The Post reports that the Community Board has gone to court to get the SLA to revoke the bar's liquor license. It's a familiar song and dance for the restaurant, which faced similar problems last year when Community Board 2 recommended that the SLA reject their initial application. Obviously, the neighborhood lost that particular fight, and given the SLA's stance on license renewal, the neighborhood may need to kick this up a notch.