For those with ambitions of opening a restaurant in the East Village — particularly on Avenue A between East 3rd and 5th streets — you’re a bit out of luck, according to DNAinfo. Not only do vacant storefronts along this strip bear signs that read “Store for rent, no restaurants, food okay,” but also two separate properties in the area are referred to as restaurant-free zones by Manhattan Community Board 3.
One of the main issues behind the decision is bypassing the costs of higher insurance costs due to risks from cooking equipment. By “food okay,” they mean already prepared food that does not require equipment to cook. Also at issue: the cost of modifying spaces for food preparation purposes, and the challenges of disposing of food and dealing with the almost inevitable pests. There is also the community’s desire to maintain quiet surroundings.
Frank Rothman, the president of 141 East 3rd Street, a co-op with commercial space that DNAinfo said is a “restaurant-free zone,” said “the idea is to keep the corner relatively quiet.” He later added that “the avenue has more than its share of bars and restaurants.”
In addition, 172 East 4th Street, also a no-restaurant zone, could fetch $25,000 monthly if the co-op agreed to take in a restaurant, but a Sovereign Bank location has the space for $12,000 per month.
“A bank is the cleanest operation,” Henry Reininger, the building’s treasurer, told DNAinfo. [DNAinfo]