David Bouley has been a Tribeca fixture since he first opened his eighteenth-century walnut door on West Broadway in 1987, but he’s not popular with his neighbors. A community-board meeting last week on the liquor-license application for his planned fourth neighborhood restaurant, a high-end Japanese eatery called Brushstrokes, drew such vehement opposition that the tense meeting ended with a recommendation against the license. “I’m sure he is a brilliant chef, but he has a very bad history as a neighbor,” says Julie Nadel, a community-board member who lives in the co-op that houses Bouley and Danube. “He had a carbon-monoxide leak at Danube, and another one five months later at Bouley Bakery. People were taken out on stretchers. We got a carbon-monoxide detector in our building so he doesn’t kill us all.” There have also been allegations of bad business practices and insurance fraud after 9/11. In a neighbor-pleasing move, the chef plans free food for the opening of a nearby youth center. “He was very rude and arrogant at the meeting and kept interrupting us,” says Allan Tannenbaum, another board member. “If he thinks he can buy us off with canapés, he is mistaken.” Bouley wouldn’t comment; “David Bouley does not answer phone calls,” a restaurant employee said.
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