Liquor-averse community boards push downtown bars to Upper East Side

Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn community boards are changing the retail landscape for the city’s most venerable neighborhood. The New York Post reported that more trendy restaurants and bars are migrating to the Upper East Side as community boards in the Village, Williamsburg and other “hip” neighborhoods begin to shun them.

“It’s no fun to have neighbors blaming you for being kept awake,” said Ken Friedman, the owner of the Spotted Pig who decided to bringing a wine bar concept initially planned for the West Village to the Upper East Side.

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Friedman’s venture, with star chef April Bloomfield, is just one of many from restaurant and bar owners that are looking at the Upper East Side. For example, the owners of downtown gastropubs Wren and Wilfie & Nell will open Penrose on Second Avenue near 83rd Street this week. Further, downtown Neapolitan pizzeria Numero 28 Is Opening A Location On First Avenue.

Restaurateurs say Upper East Siders, though reputed to be resistant to change, are happy to see new options open where stuffy restaurants and fraternity-style bars have proliferated. “Customers were saying, ‘Thank you for coming here.’ In the years I’ve been downtown, that never happened,” said Rolando Biamonte of Numero 28. [Post]