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The Charms of Chang

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Community Board 1 recently rejected the Duane Street Hotel's application for a beer and wine license for its ground floor restaurant, even though the restaurant has just 40 seats and plans to close by midnight seven days a week. So why the rejection? Because for seven years, the board fought developer Sam Chang over the building's "appearance and impact on the community," and even though Chang does not own the property anymore, the locals are not ready to forgive and forget. One CB1 member recalls Chang's McSam Hotel Group being "worse than unhelpful." In Chang's defense (and we can't believe we just typed those words), CB1 can be a little wacky. [Downtown Express; Sam Chang coverage]