Manhattan, NY - Neighbors Say Kosher Steakhouse is Too Rowdy For UWS
Manhattan, NY - A hip kosher steakhouse is too rowdy for the Upper West Side, say neighbors.
Prime KO is drawing complaints from residents of West 85th Street and Broadway.
They say the restaurant, which opened in May 2010, is quiet during the week but attracts partying crowds on the weekend who linger on the street talking loudly after the rabbi-approved eatery closes.
The angry neighbors showed up to complain about the restaurant at a Community Board 7 meeting this week where Prime KO’s application for a sidewalk cafe permit was reviewed.
While the restaurant’s all-kosher menu and special events like Passover Seders have won fans among observant Jews, Prime KO’s stylish vibe has attracted celebrities since opening night. “The Sopranos” actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, along with Oklahoma City Thunder center Serge Ibaka, were in attendance that night, according to the New York Times.
Residents in the co-op buildings directly across the street say sometimes limousines and chauffeur-driven cars idle on the block, causing congestion, and customers are boisterous when they leave late at night.
“It’s a place to party, and it’s very difficult to contain the noise,” said resident Charles Abbott at this week’s Community Board 7 meeting.
Abbott, who said his co-op board asked him to speak on its behalf, said a sidewalk cafe doesn’t belong on a side street, and expanding Prime KO’s operations outside would worsen the noise problem.
Abbott said that Prime KO is a “beautiful” restaurant, but he’s had to buy a white noise machine to drown out the racket that patrons make when they leave.
But Prime KO’s Director of Operations Steven Traube and restaurant owner Joey Allaham defended Prime KO against neighbors’ complaints at the Community Board 7 meeting, insisting that they run a “neighborhood restaurant,” not a night club in disguise.
While Prime KO’s Facebook page promised an “epic Purim party” with no cover charge and “celebrity DJs,” Traube pointed out that those DJs plugged into the restaurant’s internal sound system, not club-style speakers that blast music.
In addition to young celebrities, Prime KO can claim support from the Jewish establishment. Restaurant representatives presented Community Board 7 with a letter from Michael Landau, chairman of the Council of Orthodox Jewish Organizations of the West Side.
Landau, who said in the letter that he’s hosting a party soon at Prime KO, lauded Prime KO for hosting several charity events.
Community Board 7 member Sheldon Fine, an Orthodox Jew, called Prime KO a neighborhood asset, because it serves the growing number of observant Jews on the Upper West Side.
“Since when have observant Jews been known to be rowdy, drunk or loud?” Fine said. “There are ways Jews are generally characterized, but I’ve never heard that.”
Community Board 7 approved Prime KO’s request for a sidewalk cafe permit, but the final decision will be made by the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs.
Read more at DNAinfo.com
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