SoHo locals criticize restaurants’ noise level

Nicole Brown

Restaurant and bar owners and community members met to discuss the renewal of liquor licenses at Tuesday night’s Community Board No. 2 meeting on State Liquor Authority Licensing.

In recent months there has been an increasing number of complaints from residents living in the Village regarding noise and disturbances from the restaurants and nightclubs. For this reason, many residents argue restaurants and bars should not be granted renewals until these issues are resolved.

“We’re cracking down on everyone in the neighborhood because it is so out of control, and the residents are complaining,” said SLA co-chair Richard Stewart.

One of the restaurants requesting a liquor license renewal, Brinkley’s, which also includes Southside Night Club, is directly across the street from NYU’s Broome Street residence hall on the corner of Broome Street and Cleveland Place.

Alyssa Vigliotti, a CAS junior and Broome Street resident, said the noise is an issue even though she lives on the eighth floor.

“I’ve gotten pretty used to it now, but weekends are the worst. I understand that we live in [New York City], but the noise gets pretty old after awhile,” Vigliotti said.

Diana Pawell, a Tisch sophomore and Broome Street resident, said the noise reaches its peak on weekend nights.

“While it’s incredibly loud, with people screaming and various horns blaring early on in the evening, it generally calms down around 3 a.m.,” Pawell said. “It would just be nice if on Sunday nights the club quieted down a lot earlier.”

The first issue residents addressed at the meeting is the mislabeling of Southside Night Club. The SLA said even though the space was described in the original application as a restaurant and lounge with background music and no dancing, the basement of Brinkley’s is a club.

Lora Tenenbaum, a resident on Broome Street, said her main concern is the dancing and the loud noise that accompanies it.

“They do not have a cabaret license,” Tenenbaum said. However, Southside Night Club advertises itself as a dance club on its website and Twitter.

Tom Martignetti, owner of Brinkley’s and Southside Night Club, did not deny these accusations. But he said in the last two years there have only been two noise violations and two incidents of police activity concerning missing cell phones. He based his statement on his restaurant’s last year’s police incident report log, which he said is available for anyone to see online.

Regardless, residents at the meeting continued to complain about the noisiness at night.

Marna Laurence, who lives on Cleveland Place, said there is often traffic congestion outside of the club that adds to the noisiness.

Additionally, in the early hours in the morning, residents said large crowds often line up behind metal barricades and exhibit riot-like behavior.

“They shouldn’t be operating because they don’t fit in the neighborhood,” said resident Jonathon Ellis.

An agreement on whether the business would be able to renew their license was not decided at the meeting.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 10 print edition. Nicole Brown is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]