$2,000 fine for Columbus Ave. sidewalk café

Glass-enclosed sidewalk café @SQC on Columbus Avenue seeking legalization from Landmarks. Photo: Kevin E. Schultz.

Restaurant’s landlord built glass café enclosure without Landmarks’ approval. In 2004, the owner of a building at 270 Columbus Avenue, located within the Central Park West Historic District, sought legalization of a sidewalk glass enclosure it constructed without Landmarks’ approval. Landmarks denied legalization in July 2004, finding that it diminished the character of the block and drew attention from the adjoining 1885 Grecian-style flathouse. Subsequently, the owners of @SQC, a new upscale restaurant and bar on the site, sought Landmarks’ approval of the glass enclosure used as a sidewalk café. @SQC continued to operate its sidewalk café under temporary approval letters from Consumer Affairs until March 2005, when it failed to obtain a renewal of the temporary letters. DCA charged @SQC with unlicensed operation of an enclosed sidewalk café. After a hearing, ALJ Bruce M. Dennis fined the restaurant $2,000 and ordered @SQC sealed for five days, finding that @SQC failed to obtain DCA approval. The owner’s unresolved application with Landmarks was not a mitigating factor in operating an unlicensed sidewalk café.

DCA v. S.Q.C., DCA Violation No. PL1045415 (Dec. 21, 2005) (Dennis, ALJ). CITYADMIN

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