Is La Esquina In Danger Of Closing?

by Mara Siegler · June 28, 2011

    Trouble is lurking for everyone's favorite underground, upscale Mexican joint La Esquina. CB2, acting in accordance with the unwritten rule that all community boards must act like your curmudgeonly grandpa, has voted to adopt a resolution by its SLA committee to deny renewal of the Mexican spot's liquor license, reports Grubstreet. Uh oh.

    The space has had 64 health violations and was shut down in May last year by the Department of Buildings citing the  "conditions in this premises are imminently perilous to life." More recently, neighbors have complained that it attracts celebrities and noise.

    Co-owner Derek Sanders isn't worried. He tells Grubstreet:

    "If you look at the community board from last month, there were fourteen applications, and they rejected all of them and they recommended zero," he said. "The SLA's criteria is different. We are a legal business. We pay all of our taxes. The Community Board's agenda is more motivated around groups and crowds. The SLA will listen, but won't approve a license over quality of life complaints."

    They are planning to continue to work with the board to settle complaints and are also making progress on their Brooklyn outpost, Café de la Esquina at Wythe Diner. Housed in the old Relish space, it does not have an opening date just yet but  will have a taqueria, café, garden and dining room.

    [Top image via]