We wanted to share a follow-up to our article written last month in which we announced that Matt Kliegman and Carlos Quirarte of Jane Ballroom infamy would be opening a new venture, Westway, at 75 Clarkson Street. According to The Villager, their plan was assaulted on one front by the Greenwich Village Little League and the Downtown Little League which apparently are concerned about their young ball players walking “in the midst of the busiest intersection of children’s outdoor activities in Downtown Manhattan.” Check out the photo of Clarkson Street between Washington St. and the West Side Highway to form your own thoughts on that one.
However, it now appears that Kliegman and Quirate’s biggest hurdles relate to serious traffic concerns on Clarkson Street. The pair appeared in front of the State Liquor Authority (SLA) today along with their attorney and traffic consultant to request a liquor license for their company 75 Clarkson Street F&B LLC dba Westway. Members of the public, including John Eck, Paul Fox, David Levy, and Peter Berger spoke in opposition. According to a letter written by Mr. Berger, upon questioning by the public speakers, Westway’s traffic consultant acknowledged that in her report she 1) had not considered the impact of cars waiting outside 75 Clarkson for guests to leave; and 2) had not taken into account that Clarkson is the only intersection permitting left hand turns between 14th Street and Canal Street, and 3) had not considered the impact of the FedEx bays on Clarkson between Washington and Greenwich.
Berger also stated that Kleigman and Quirarte told the SLA Board that there “would be no nudity, no topless, and nothing like that.” Apparently, Mr. Quiararte had questioned the Board Chairman as to why they should be required to remove three stripper poles they admitted having if their license were to be granted, and the Chairman replied with something like “you aren’t getting it.”
The Board asked the Westway applicants to return before them on April 13th with a specific plan to address their concerns as well as a detailed explanation of their operating intentions. In the mean time, they will return to the SLA Committee of Community Board 2 to address specific resident concerns and develop a plan that will satisfy at least some of them.
So what do you do with “acrylic walls, red plastic booths, and a neon lit stage” if there will be no topless dancers, stripper poles or other adult entertainment? That remains to be seen but Westway’s owners had previously insisted that sort of thing would only be background entertainment, just like the music from the DJ.
Click below to view the letter sent by the public opposition to community members after today’s SLA meeting as well as a letter from NY State Assemblymember, Deborah Glick, and NY State Senator, Tom Duane, opposing Westway’s liquor license application.