As Eater first reported, East 4th Street gastropub (leave the "pub" off for "public pressure") E.U. opened last week without a liquor license, inviting patrons, in classic new restaurant style, to bring their own. That plan fizzled over the weekend when cops busted the joint for serving alcohol; the venue is now dry as rural Utah. Today, Eater looks at the legal ramifications surrounding the move while the NYT adds to the fun, reporting, "A spokesman for the [liquor] authority said customers cannot bring their own wine to a bar or restaurant unless it has a 'bottle club' permit. In practice, however, this rule is rarely enforced." Except, you know, when it is. Ouch.
Bigger picture: the move by East Village residents against E.U., born of sheer rage, may lead to the revocation of exemptions to the "500 foot rule" that forbids new dining/drinking establishments within 500 feet of three existing bars or restaurants. Says Tribeca restaurateur Drew Nieporent, "There's unprecedented pressure by community boards these days." And the fun has just begun.
· E.U. Takedown, Day 168: "Bottle Club" Laws [Eater]
· E.U. Update: BYOB Policy, Not So Much [Eater]
· Neighborhood Prohibitionists May Limit New Restaurants [NYTimes]
· East Village Noise Wars Update: E.U. Denied License [Curbed]