Club owner promises restaurant, not nightlife in W’burg

Club dread: A Manhattan bar owner wants to put a cavernous nightclub in this N. First Street warehouse — but residents fear an increase in noise, traffic, and lewd behavior.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

A Manhattan club owner has backed off his plan to open a Williamsburg party hall amid opposition from his Northside neighbors, claiming he will open a high-end restaurant in the N. First Street warehouse instead.

Nightlife impresario Alexander Dimitrov now says the proposed Williamsburg Manor will cater to foodies not clubbers with a rooftop vegetable garden and a menu boasting gourmet pizza, pasta, and raw foods.

“Most likely I won’t be pursuing a club, it will be something different — something nice for the community,” said Dimitrov. “We’re changing plans.”

Dimitrov backed off his original concept after scores of residents stormed a Community Board 1 liquor license committee meeting two weeks ago and blasted his plans, fearing the venue would resemble his Manhattan club, which boasts furniture made from ice, bartenders dressed as Soviet soldiers, and bathrooms with sexually suggestive fixtures.

“He’s perfectly able to open up a club in an appropriate neighborhood, but this is not an appropriate neighborhood,” said Williamsburg resident Jenice Malecki. “Construction workers leave their lunch on my stoop during the day, so imagine what people leaving this club at 4 am are going to leave on my stoop.”

On Tuesday night, Community Board 1 unanimously rejected Williamsburg Manor’s liquor application, arguing that the bar is out of scale with the neighborhood.

The State Liquor Authority has the final say on whether the venue can serve booze, but Dimitrov, who has a 10-year lease on the space, has promised to delay his permit request. So far the authority has not scheduled a hearing date for Williamsburg Manor.

Dimitrov’s decision has taken many by surprise.

“It’s a shame he didn’t come to the community before we had to go through this,” said Malecki. “Maybe he can do something to regain our trust so we can support his new business.”

Williamsburg resident Jenice Malecki petitioned against the Williamsburg Manor when it was slated to be a club.
Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

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