The owner is working with city agencies to resolve the issue and reopen. The radio, meanwhile, will keep broadcasting.
The health department posted a closure notice on the window of the kiosk following an inspection on Wednesday. Owner Francois Vaxelaire says the problems began last summer when the business was reassigned from one city agency (Department Of Agriculture And Markets) to another (Department Of Health And Mental Hygiene). The inspection that led to this was prompted by anonymous phone calls from one of The Lot Radio's neighbors, who called the Department Of Health "around 60 times" with various complaints, he says.
Since being placed under the authority of another city agency, The Lot Radio has been unable to procure or even apply for their cafe's permit. Because of the kiosk's unorthodox setup, the business doesn't fit into either of the city's existing classifications for the necessary permit: mobile food vendor or restaurant. It's related to their system for running water into the cafe, among other structural details like the off-site bathroom, which would require exceptions to the health department's code. Wednesday, inspectors from the health department arrived on the Greenpoint property to shut it down.
The owner is in active discussion with both the Department Of Health as well as the office of nightlife, which was created to resolve bureaucratic issues with small businesses promoting music and art. "We have entered a more constructive phase," Valexaire says, "and I'm confident that we're going to find a solution that works for all of us. And most importantly, this does not affect the radio in any way. We are up and running and will always be!"
Read Vaxelaire's note to The Lot Radio patrons about the closure below.