First Ave. lounge cited for noise is trying to renew liquor license

Visana, a speakeasy style lounge that’s also a pizzeria (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Visana, a speakeasy style lounge that’s also a pizzeria (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Visana, the new speakeasy style cocktail lounge on First Avenue that’s also a pizzeria in front, will be seeking the blessing of Community Board 6 for a renewal of its liquor license on Thursday.

However, as Town & Village has previously reported, the new venue, across from Stuyvesant Town, has managed to draw the ire of neighbors due to nighttime noise.

In November, cops at the 13th Precinct told neighborhood residents who’d complained about noise they’d be following up with the owner David Jaffee on that issue.

“The educating part has come and gone so we’ll deal with it accordingly,” said Detective Ray Dorrian at the time.

He’d also since then been slapped with charges by the State Liquor Authority over the noise complaints.

Another potential obstacle for the business is that too many licenses have been issued in the area already. The SLA generally only allows three full liquor licenses within 500 foot radius of one another, but according to a spokesperson for the agency, there were already three when Visana applied, but didn’t disclose this.

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Neighbors complain about noise from First Avenue cocktail lounge

Lieutenant Steven Lebovic at Tuesday’s 13th Precinct Community Council meeting Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Lieutenant Steven Lebovic at Tuesday’s 13th Precinct Community Council meeting (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

After hearing complaints about ongoing noise from new pizzeria/cocktail bar Visana from neighbors, police said that they would step up their enforcement regarding noise infractions.

This was at the most recent 13th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday when neighbors of Visana, who live above the business as well as next door complained about the noise and crowds outside the place. Visana opened at 321 First Avenue at the end of September, in the space formerly occupied by Adriatic restaurant.

“My life there has always been quiet,” said Jorge Rios, who has lived directly above the space since 1970. “Restaurants have always been quiet but now that business changed the whole picture. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday is fine but Thursday through Saturday I can’t sleep until 4 in the morning.”

Another resident at 321 said that one of the reasons for the excessive noise seemed to be the crowds of people gathered on the sidewalk outside the building.

“On Saturday, the noise was incredible and people couldn’t walk from 18th to 19th without walking into bike path,” said the resident, who didn’t want to give her name. “People were walking into the street and almost getting hit by bikes to avoid the crowds.”

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