New York Daily Photo Analytics

Sunday, February 18, 2007

BBar and Grille

This is B-Bar and Grille (originally the Bowery Bar and Grille), at 40 East 4th Street at the Bowery. The restaurant and bar is most well known for their large outdoor garden open year-round (seen in the photo with its illuminated trees at nite). I can't speak for the food here - but like many trendy places there are fans and detractors. The entire business sits on the site of a former dilapidated Gulf gas station. Developed by Eric Goode and Serge Becker in 1994, B-Bar was embroiled in controversy at the time. The NoHo Neighborhood Association, Community Board 2 and the SoHo Alliance were concerned that this conversion would change the character of the neighborhood and mounted a lawsuit, arguing on the basis that the neighborhood was dominated by light industry and artists (although in actuality, there was little light industry left at that time). The area had 47 one-story buildings and there was a fear that precedent would be set for conversion of many these buildings into clubs. In 1995, the plaintiffs withdrew their challenge to the Bar/Restaurant, feeling that a ruling against them might set a negative precedent. When looking at all the amazing architecture here in New York City, I frequently reflect on the fact that behind all the large and/or newer buildings there was frequently opposition to its construction. There are always a myriad of reasons with many rational arguments for opposition to development, but the bottom line is that many people just don't like a change to the status quo. But change is the nature of a dynamic city like New York - things will change, new buildings built and resistance met ...

4 comments:

Lucy said...

Bowery is getting so much more fashionable these days...

Jean said...

Not only love your photos but also your insight on the city.

blogborygmi said...

I stood on this same corner around Christmastime and snapped a similar shot. It's a great angle. And, if I recall, the view 90 degrees to the right, with ESB, Zeckendorf towers, and the Met Life tower was striking as well.

Anonymous said...

God I hate BBar. Home away from home for many a former frat guy or sorority girl from Columbia/Barnard seeking out a little rich slice. Yuck yuck yuck -- unfortunate as it's a rare little beer garden in the city, though no Bohemian Beer Garden, which is the Real Deal -- go to Astoria for that.