April 15, 2014 By Christian Murray
Woodbines, the gastropub that took over the space that was once home to Lounge 47, has plans to expand.
Pat Burke, who opened Woodbines last August, said he wants to build an enclosed space that covers the entire rear yard, which was once used as a backyard space by Lounge 47.
When Burke opened Woodbines, he agreed that he would not use the rear yard space, given the long war that raged between fans of Lounge 47 and William Garrett, who lives next door, about noise.
Burke now has plans to spend a significant sum to enclose the entire rear yard, which will add about 1,000 sqf. to his existing 1,300 sqf. bar– and seal it from noise. With the addition, Woodbines will have a second bar, 48 additional seats and two more restrooms.
Burke said that there will be no windows with the new enclosure so neighbors such as Garrett will be shielded from noise. He said it would be constructed out of 8 inch thick masonry block with sheet-rock interior walls. Furthermore, he said he would put sound-proof insulation in the ceiling.
Burke, who has to alter his liquor license with the addition, spoke to Community Board 2 last Wednesday about his plans.
At the meeting, Pat O’Brien, who heads the committee overseeing liquor licenses, read an e-mail that William Garrett had sent to CB2 Chair Joe Conley (which copied Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer) outlining his concerns. Garrett, via e-mail, said he was concerned about “inferior construction” and said that the extension would lead to more patrons standing outside smoking and making noise.
The board dismissed his accusation about questionable construction after Burke provided details as to how the extension would be built, along with plans from his engineer. Furthermore, additional pedestrian traffic from more patrons did not seem to raise questions.
However, while the community board appeared to have a favorable view of the plan, it did want to check in with one neighbor to ensure that it would not completely block her window before giving it the thumbs up.
Construction, if all is approved, would start in about two months. The extension would take about four months to build.
Burke said that construction would take place Monday-Friday (during conventional work hours) and that the bar would remain open the entire time.