By Joy Bergmann
Bring on the brews. On Wednesday evening, Gebhard’s Beer Culture advanced another step toward opening a craft beer pub and restaurant at 228 West 72nd, following unanimous approval by Community Board 7’s Business & Consumer Issues Committee. The restaurant still needs final approval from the State Liquor Authority, which tends to heed the will of the community board.
Proprietor Matthew Gebhard told the Committee that he expects to deploy a similar strategy on 72nd Street as he used at his current operation, Beer Culture, in Hell’s Kitchen. Gebhard plans to serve 250 beers in bottles, 16 craft-beer drafts, select craft whiskeys, a full menu until 11 p.m. and a late-night menu until closing. “We want to be an authority in New York for craft beer,” he said. “We get a clientele that knows what it’s looking for.”
The proposed location has been empty since Mike’s Bistro closed over a year ago. After renovations and upgrades, Gebhard hopes to open the 100-guest-capacity pub in late spring.
Emily Nesler, who lives directly above the space, asked for clarification about sound, security and smoking policies. Gebhard responded that soundproofing is a priority and something to be addressed during renovations in collaboration with neighboring residents. He said signs would be posted urging smokers to step away from the building and not allowing smoking near the vestibule. And a security camera and alarm would be installed at the second-floor emergency exit.
Committee Co-Chair George Zeppenfeldt-Cestero asked for several stipulations before granting approval for Gebhard’s application to be heard before the full CB7 at its January 5th meeting. Gebhard agreed to change operating hours during a probationary six-month period to 11:30am until 2:00am instead of a 4:00am closing on Fridays and Saturdays.