The NY Times City section looked at a fight between East Village bar Heathers on 13th Street and its neighbors, and we took away two things.
First, there's a lot about how Heathers owner Heather Millstone and her upstairs neighbors Frank Hartin and Wai-Shing Lee are dealing with each other. Hartin and Lee find the bar so noisy the DEP and police regularly visit to monitor the situation - and they bought a $1,100 sound meter.
Millstone finds their complaints difficult as she's trying to address their concerns by soundproofing the space and having a bouncer tell people to be quiet. Various city agencies raided Heathers but only ended up citing a health code violations for fruit flies, while Hartin and Lee put up with a "constant drone." And though they are trying to move forward, the situation seems pretty much the status quo with no one happy.
Then there's how Community Board 3 considered Heathers' liquor license. CB3 subcommittee chairwoman Alexandra Militano and Board 3 district manager Susan Stetzer say that Millstone's application was "completely heard" but denied because they didn't think offering gluten-free alcohol was considered "public benefit for the community." (In order for bars to get a liquor license when there are three other bars within 500 feet is to claim there is a public benefit.)
Still, the State Liquor Authority gave Millstone a permit, which makes you wonder what the point of the community board's decision in the first place, though the Times says CB3 is very influential (see EU). Heathers' license is up for renewal this fall, and with the recent crackdown on bar establishments, we don't think things are looking good.