One of Manhattan’s priciest restaurants wants to permanently take over the courtyard of a nearby landmarked building for outdoor dining.
And the move has infuriated residents.
Marea is asking a local community board to let them squeeze 24 diners and an outdoor music venue into the courtyard at 240 Central Park South — even after the coronavirus pandemic ends, according to documents presented to Manhattan’s Community Board 5 last month.
“This is an opportunistic move by Marea to use the pandemic as an excuse to expand into our garden with total disregard for our quality of life,” said a longtime resident of the building who did not want to be identified.
Co-owned by former Merrill Lynch co-president Ahmass Fakahany, Marea is a power dining spot for celebrities and Wall Street titans.
The restaurant’s signature dish, fusilli with wine-braised octopus and bone marrow, goes for $38, and a glass of Barolo Riserva costs $260. Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Beyonce and Jay-Z are among its bold-face regulars.
The Michelin-starred restaurant also wants to extend its liquor license and permanently OK the 62 new outdoor seats it put in on the sidewalk during the pandemic, the Community Board application says.
If the restaurant gets approved for everything, it would be able to accommodate 86 diners outside.
Marea caused an uproar among residents last summer when they placed tables on the sidewalk of Central Park South, leaving only a narrow corridor for pedestrians and blocking access to a city bus stop.
The outdoor dining area is separated by plastic sheeting.
“When I walk my dog on the sidewalk there is barely enough space,” said a resident who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation from the building’s owner, Central Park South Associates LLC, which is also the landlord for Marea.
“It feels like an accident waiting to happen.”
Other longtime residents of the tony, 300-unit building, which is an art deco landmark, said they are worried the outdoor flame torches set up by the restaurant on the sidewalk are potential fire hazards.
And while local politicians have embraced outdoor dining during the pandemic, City Council member Keith Powers, who represents the neighborhood, said restaurants need to be respectful of their neighbors.
“While it has become a necessity over the last few months, outdoor dining has to be harmonious with the neighboring community,” he told The Post.
Marea must first get the approval of the local Community Board before pursuing an extension of their liquor license.
A Community Board meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, said “enraged” residents who told The Post they were upset Community Board representatives had not organized an “on-site” visit during the restaurant’s working hours before the meeting.
Altamarea, the company which owns Marea, did not return a request for comment.
A spokeswoman for Manhattan’s Community Board 5 said it’s reviewing the application.