The suburbanization of Manhattan continues! Grub Street reports that Heathers in the East Village has had its liquor license renewal application rejected last night by Community Board 3’s State Liquor Authority committee. You remember Community Board 3, don’t you? They’re the ones who reject liquor licenses left and right and secretly wished they lived in Connecticut, but no, they decide the fates of restaurants and bars all over the East Village and Lower East Side for some reason.
Usually I roll my eyes and ignore them because they’re doing something stupid like denying a small Italian restaurant a liquor license in fear it’ll become a “nightclub.” This is different. This simply shall not stand. Heathers has been in the neighborhood since 2005; it is a bastion for a diverse mix of gay and straight creatives who are looking for a drink in an increasingly frat-like East Village bar scene.
Really, I don’t know what else owner Heather Millstone can do. She’s already soundproofed the bar and has staff shooing away people down the street if they try to smoke outside. The main problems, as a person who has been going to Heathers consistently for years, is a) the bar is on a side street instead of a main avenue b) it’s just too damn popular. The East Village bar scene is basically becoming divided into fancy, $13 cocktail places and beer pong douche-a-ramas. Won’t somebody think of the studio art majors? There are very few bars in the East Village with an artistic bent and affordable drinks, and if Heathers goes, there will be one less reason to leave Brooklyn.
Is this just me bitching because one of my favorite bars is in trouble? Maybe! At least I can always go to Millstone’s other bar, Veronica Peoples Club in Greenpoint. Let’s just hope that she can get it all sorted out and stay open.