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State Licenses and Permits

Manhattan Nuvo LLC, dba “De Sous”, 125 East 54th Street (Between Park and Lexington Avenues), New York, NY, application for a new on premises liquor license

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, December 14, 2023, the following resolution passed with a vote of 33 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, MANHATTAN NUVO LLC (“Applicant”), has notified Community Board Five of its intention to file for a new on premises liquor license for the bar/restaurant known as “De Sous” located at 125 East 54th Street, New York, New York (between Park and Lexington Avenues), New York, New York (the "Premises"); and

WHEREAS, This exact Applicant has had a long history of disturbances at its previous operation at this Premises; and

WHEREAS, In 2018, there were at least 18 reports of police activity involving the Premises, 6 of which were felonies: 2 Grand Larcenies, 2 Assaults, and 2 counts of Criminal Impersonation of a police officer, as well as various violations of the ABC Law and the Fire Code (see Attachment #1); and

WHEREAS, One of the more serious incidents, occurring on 7/1/18, involved a fight at the Premises with multiple assaults, including two victims being slashed by a box cutter, resulting in six (6) felony arrests; and

WHEREAS, On 09/26/2018, the SLA entered into a settlement with the Applicant regarding various offenses, SLA Case No. 127611; and

WHEREAS, Even after this settlement and perhaps others with the SLA, there continued to be disturbances and assaults occurring at the Premises, including one on 11/04/2018 involving a large, disorderly group fighting in front of the Premises, resulting in 2 misdemeanor arrests; and

WHEREAS, There is currently an investigation by the SLA – Case #132428 – regarding incidents involving the Premises on 11/11/2018 and 03/03/2019, but those records remain protected and we were unable to obtain further detail (see Attachment #2); and

WHEREAS, What we were able to determine about the 11/11/18 incident was that it involved disorderly conduct at the Premises whereby an employee at the Premises used pepper spray to subdue an out of control patron, and that the employee was dressed in a bullet proof vest and was in possession of two cans of pepper spray, a metal expandable baton, and shoe spikes, in order to control unruly patrons (see Attachment #2); and

WHEREAS, The fact that the operator sees the need to dress and equip their employees in tactical gear, including a bullet-proof vest, and arm them with pepper spray, shoe spikes, and metal batons, is clear evidence that the Premises is out of control; and

WHEREAS, By letter dated May 22, 2019, State Senator, Liz Krueger, State Assemblymember, Dan Quart, and City Councilmember Keith powers wrote to the SLA highlighting major incidents involving the Applicant and recommending that the SLA consider Applicant’s history of misconduct and disorder in determining penalties against it at a June 6, 2019 disciplinary hearing (see Attachment #3); and

WHEREAS, On June 6, 2019, the SLA held a disciplinary hearing against Applicant, charging it with (i) failure to exercise adequate supervision; (ii) occurrence of noise, disturbance, misconduct or disorder; (iii) focal point for police activity; and (iv) suffering or permitting disorderly premises (see Attachment #4); and

WHEREAS, The Applicant is the same as the previous establishment and the main principal remains the same; and

WHEREAS, The new principals have not demonstrated any relevant restaurant management experience and are not independent from the problematic operator because they admittedly have a long (“friends for 20 years”) personal relationship with the problematic main principal; and

WHEREAS, Although the Applicant has offered to install an independent monitor to oversee the Premises, not even an independent monitor can overcome the inadequacy of this operator, who has a long track record of being a poor operator, has flouted SLA requirements and CB5’s stipulations in the past, and who has had a complete disregard for public order at the Premises and;

WHEREAS, Residents living near the Premises attended a public meeting with members of the State Licenses and Permits Committee of CB5 on 10/16/2023 and a committee hearing with the State Licenses and Permits Committee of CB5 on 12/06/2023 and testified to a continuous pattern of disorderly conduct, assaults, rowdy patrons, patrons arriving and departing the Premises with car stereos blaring, uncontrolled crowds in front of the Premises, screaming and fighting patrons, drunken patrons, patrons jumping on cars in front of the Premises, and other complaints; and

WHEREAS, Every resident of the Lex 54 Condominium adjacent to the Premises signed a petition requesting that the Applicant not receive a license from the SLA (see Attachment #5); and

WHEREAS, Based on the police record and resident testimony, it is clear to the community that the Applicant cannot be allowed to operate this establishment; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends denial of the application by MANHATTAN NUVO LLC for a new on premises liquor license for the bar/restaurant known as “De Sous” located at 125 East 54th Street, New York, New York (between Park and Lexington Avenues), New York, New York.

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