From the CB3 Files: Luke’s Lobster Starting Delivery This Week; the Gays Want Cosmos at South Brooklyn Pizza


Last night’s endless slog Community Board 3 SLA & DCA Licensing Committee Meeting was incredibly long yet not particularly eventful, despite an epic showdown and “kangaroo court” catcalls. But there is some good news to report: Luke’s Lobster, whose owners were approved for a license to sell bottles of Maine microbrews, will be starting delivery this week.

In other beer and food pairings news, Lina Kulchinsky, the owner of Sigmund Pretzel, appeared to apply for a beer and wine license to start serving beer and pretzel pairings, as well as spiced wine. She’s also planning to start breakfast service sometime soon. Due to a lack of signatures from her immediate neighbors in support of her application, the board asked her to come back next month with more signatures and a letter of approval from the block association; the application was withdrawn.

As we earlier reported, Carroll Garden’s South Brooklyn Pizza is coming to 122 First Avenue. Back in Brooklyn, the pizzeria is well-known for Fondle, its Monday night gay dance party, and its owner, Jim McGown, and managing partner, Ruben Alban, want to make the East Village location similarly gay-friendly.

And that’s why they want a full liquor instead of mere beer and wine license: “We have to go with the gay community,” McGown said. “They don’t like beer and wine; they want Cosmos.”

The board was somewhat skeptical, even as three gay gentlemen from Brooklyn — including the founder of Fondle, who compared himself to Harvey Milk — attested to the business’s upstanding nature and the fact that yes, some gays do indeed like cocktails with their pizza. Residents of 122 First Avenue remained unconvinced about the supposed need for a full liquor license, and worried about the potential for noise emanating from the restaurant, which will have 25 seats inside (and possibly more in its backyard) and be open seven days a week. Ultimately, the board recommended that McGown withdraw his application and return the following month.

Speaking of many unhappy returns, the owner of 11B made his fifth attempt to get a beer and wine license for his Italian restaurant and pizzeria on Avenue B. The board had numerous issues with his earlier applications, which had misrepresented his plans for the restaurant. Supporters of the application showed up in force, as did opponents including representatives of the nearby church, who tried to invoke the 200-foot rule, which applies to full liquor licenses only. A somewhat impassioned debate went on for almost an hour, replete with shouting, reprimands from board chair Alex Militano, and catcalls of “kangaroo court” from one 11B supporter who’d previously urged the board to let him have “a glass of wine with my chicken parmesan.” The board eventually voted to deny the license, and, with apologies to Rick Bragg, it was all over but the shoutin.’


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