By Carol Tannenhauser
The community board committee charged with pre-approving state liquor-license applications by restaurants and bars opening on the UWS served up a bit of heartbreak Wednesday night.
The would-be owner of Da Luce, Jenny Orozco, broke into tears upon learning that the co-op/ condo at 464 Columbus Avenue, between 82nd and 83rd, where her new “family-concept” Italian restaurant was supposed to open in June, is embroiled in legal, financial and board problems, including a $100,000 debt and a lien on the building.
The committee had just approved Da Luce’s application when Joel Cracraft, a member and past president of the “cond-op board” of 464 Columbus, came forward and made the startling revelations, asking that “this application be put on hold,” prompting the committee to change its decision to “denied without prejudice.”
“Oh my God,” a stunned Orozco said. “This is my dream, to have my own place where everyone is welcome. We’re hoping to attract young moms and dads with their kids. Bring the strollers! The food will be delicious. The chef has cooked for Cipriani and other great concerns.”
“You need to speak to your attorney…or a new one,” said Committee Co-Chair Michele Parker. “Somebody’s not doing their job. You’re not being protected. There are a lot of other places that would welcome your business.”