The New Rochelle City Council voted 7-0 to deny a controversial application cabaret license to Siete Ocho Siete, a Puerto Rican restaurant that opened over a year ago after extensive renovations predicated on the expectation that a cabaret license would be approved without question.
In public discussions last night, council members raised concerns that the parking plan proposed by the ownership of Siete Ocho Siete did not meet minimum requirements.
“I think we all were in agreement that the application provided by 787 was insufficient as to our requirements for a special use cabaret license,” Coucilman Jared Rice told Talk of the Sound.
The plan, according to knowledgeable sources inside City Hall, designated the entire parking lot at the strip mall where the restaurant is located to meeting parking requirements. The restaurant lease, however, designates a limited number of parking spaces to the restaurant.
Prior to the meeting, Mayor Noam Bramson was believed by many to have the necessary votes to gain approval for granting the cabaret license. As support for the license faded, Bramson sought first to table the resolution in order to give ownership of Siete Ocho Siete an opportunity to resubmit a modified application. Bramson then moved to take the meeting into executive session.
Coming out of executive session, support for the cabaret license had evaporated entirely.
Some have questioned the need for a drawn out process, with a public hearing stretched over a period of weeks, time used by the ownership of Siete Ocho Siete to bring dozens of friends, family members and customers to speak in favor of granting the cabaret license. Typically, an application for any sort of special license or permit is straightforward; a owner reads the code to see if the qualify, submits an application for license with all required documents and staff and review followed by a vote up or down by the appropriate public body.