BY JASON COHEN
At a time when businesses are
struggling to survive and many have
been forced to shutter, two Community
Board 11 members are making things
diffi cult for a bar in Pelham Parkway.
Kirvens at 736 Lydig Ave., has been
in the neighborhood for three years
and is quite popular. When Governor
Andrew Cuomo banned indoor dining
owner Marissa Davis created a 48-foot
outdoor dining structure with approval
from her landlord and the Department
However, not everyone was a fan
of its size. In December 2020, District
Manager Jeremy Warneke received the
following complaint : “Kirvens’ outdoor
structure on Lydig Avenue covers
the front of at least 4 other stores and
takes up at least 3 parking spaces. Traffi
c is already bad and this is not helping.
This structure seems bigger than
the bar itself.”
Because of a communication failure,
he did not contact DOT about Kirvens
until Jan. 21. That same night was
the CB 11 Leadership Committee meeting
when a molehill grew into a mountain.
Board members Hazel Miura and
Andrea Siegel decided that it was their
place to attack Krivens.
“I don’t know if this is the right
place to bring it up, but I have to say it,”
Miura said. “I don’t know if any of you
have been to Kirvens, but your favorite
bar Kirvens has built a monstrosity on
the street that’s bigger than the bar itself,”
she said. “It’s an eyesore. I’m hoping
she’s breaking some laws here.”
Siegel supported her and they both
asked Warneke to look into the matter.
On Jan. 25, DOT responded to
Warneke’s query with the following:
“The Open Restaurants seating can
only be as wide as a parking lane (8 ft)
and can only extend the width of the restaurant
or bar’s storefront, unless they
have written approval from their neighbors
to extend to their storefronts.”
Their inspectors issued a 24 hour
notice to correct the following: unfi
lled plastic water barriers around
structure, structure fully enclosed, no
refl ective tape installed and no snow
Davis told the Bronx Times those
problems were fi xed by the next day.
So, one would assume this drama was
But it was not. That night was the
49th Precinct Council meeting and Miura
and Siegel, who are members of the
Council, brought up Kirvens again.
Siegel asked the police if this large
outdoor structure was allowed and the
captain said he would contact the Departments
of Buildings and Consumer
Affairs. Miura then chimed in said
Kirvens had warnings from DOT, the
structure could not be bigger than her
storefront and needed permission from
“If she’s breaking the law, she’s
breaking the law,” Miura said. “When
I tell you that I’m on top of this I’m on
top of this.”
Meanwhile, resident Diana Finch
“I don’t think this is the forum for
us to criticize and accuse her of doing
illegal things,” Finch said at the meeting.
“There are many people in the
community who like the establishment
and feel it has done a great deal for the
Finch told the Bronx Times she is
disgusted with how Davis’ business
was spoken about.
“Sadly, the board members’ antagonism
appears racist,” Finch commented.
“They are all older women
who have lived in the area for a long
time, and appear uncomfortable with
the reality that there are now many
younger people of color including now
many Black people who live, own businesses,
work and socialize in the community.
At this point Warneke had received
several complaints about the issue.
Having heard her name tarnished
for a week, Davis had her chance to
speak on Jan. 28 at the full board meeting.
“I have comments for Hazel and Andrea,”
Davis said. “These two women
decided to snicker about Kirvens being
their favorite bar and proceed to say
how we’re building such a monstrosity,”
she said. “They sound hateful.
They sound like bigots. They sound
like people who are not here for their
Davis did not stop there. She called
the woman nasty and could not believe
that people are trying to tear down a
business during a pandemic.
“I’m a black woman who invested
here and I’m simply trying to survive,”
she said. “It saddens me this type of
commentary would come from elders
who are supposed to be an example.
They are a disgrace. Shame on you Hazel,
shame on you Andrea.”
Siegel replied and told she has nothing
against Kirvens, but several people
have complained about the “monstrosity.”
The two ladies began to argue and
Warneke broke it up and said this issue
will be escalated to the ethics committee.
Davis told the Bronx Times she does
not understand why these ladies are
out to get her or why this was brought
to the NYPD. She questioned if it was
because of her skin color and really
“These women need to be thrown
off the board,” Davis shouted.
On Feb. 16 the CB 11 Ethics Committee
met and it was determined that the
community board will not take action
as the two women were not speaking
for the board, but rather themselves.
The report issued by Ethics Chair
John Johnson stressed that any complaints
about on street dining falls
under the jurisdiction of the DOT, not
the community board. It further stated
that board members are advised that
they not use their position as a member
of the community board to unfairly
infl uence any action not pertaining to
community board business.
“We’re not the restaurant police,”
Johnson said to the Bronx Times.
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BRONX TIMES REPORTER, F 30 EB. 26-MAR. 4, 2021 BTR
The outdoor structure at Kirvens bar. Photo by Jason Cohen
Tensions brew between bar owner
and Community Board 11 members