Slope Residents Worry About Another Arena-Area Club


Last night at the Community Board 6 permits meeting emotions ran high as many Park Slope and Prospect Heights neighbors spoke out against plans to build another “nightclub/lounge” near the coming Barclays Center, on Flatbush Avenue between 6th Avenue and Prospect Place. The exact location is 260 Flatbush Avenue, the single story building with plans to add another seven stories. Residents expressed concern that the building would have an exit on mostly-residential Prospect Place. Meanwhile, owners of the bar, which is dubbed “Kemistry Lounge” for now, assured residents that the exit onto Prospect—which is currently a glass-fronted, one-story building—would be bricked over and would only be used as an emergency exit. The owners also pointed out that the space will not be a nightclub, rather a bar with occasional live entertainment. But residents saw the Kemistry Lounge Facebook Page (which has since been removed, although here’s a teaser website), and spoke out against what they saw depicted there. One Prospect Place resident stated: “We are the wrong demographic to have that type of place in our neighborhood.” Another man, who plans to have children, threatened to move out of his home if the bar moves in, saying, “look at the people who are attracted to this lounge,” referring to the “high energy” crowd he depicted from the Facebook page. The usual concerns about noise, crime, the proliferation of bars and parking were also discussed. It seemed unclear how the extra seven stories planned for the building, which is only one-story high at present, would work into plans for the bar, as the bar owner said DOB approved some work for the major enlargement but not all. Regina Cahill, of the Flatbush Avenue BID, told the audience that “we look forward to neighbors having open minds, and that this business agrees to be a good neighbor.” Kemistry Lounge agreed to meet with the BID and community members, which is what brought an end to the Prime Six debacle. Click through for a photo of what the one-story building on the site currently looks like.
Seven More Stories for 260 Flatbush Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP P*Shark DOB

49 Comment

  • “…would be bricked over and would only be used as an emergency exit…”

    In case of emergency, smash through bricks.

  • I was at the meeting. It was mostly families that have lived on the street for decades and senior citizens. The issue centered around density of liquor licenses in the areas. There are a lot withing 500 ft and even more coming. Residents think another license is unnecessary given this density.

  • if Kemistry is being honest about their intentions to open “a bar with occasional live music,” they wouldn’t need a 7-story space. sounds like a nightclub, which is excessive and not an ideal neighbor. but to be fair, a massive professional arena is also a bad neighbor.

  • A place called “Kemistry Lounge” sounds super cheesy. I pity its neighbors.

  • The arrogance and entitlement of some of the folks how lives in this area never ceases to amaze me. “We are the wrong demographic to have that type of place in our neighborhood”, “look at the people who are attracted to this lounge” what the hell is that suppose to mean? New York City is a place long defined by noise, crime, diversity and chaos. This idea that an arena is going to all the sudden unleash a fury of big scary property destroying heathens (I.e non white) on peaceful and idyllic Park Slope makes me sick to my stomach.

  • It’s Flatbush Ave for god’s sake.

  • I am opposing this just on the grounds of the name, Kemistry.
    And what do they need 7 stories for. I hope the community continues to object and do what they can so that this project doesn’t come to fruition.

  • From the google cached FB page:

    “Soon to be open Kemistry Lounge offers a sexy sophisticated venue for premium drinks, good conversation and as Ernie Barnes picture suggest ‘Good Times’ … We also hope to be your go-to source for all things happening in NYC …”

    C.

  • God bless anyone that would want to open a business around these crackpot communist wackos in Park Slope. The should name the spot the “Torah Lounge” just to get a rise out of all of the Park Slope Coop crowd

  • Horrible name. Horrible sounds in place. To the moron post below who wrote ‘Heaven forbid that middle class Black folk might want to have a lounge to frequent on a section of Flatbush Avenue that is outside of their containment area! ” you’ve clearly never gone out in Brooklyn.

  • I wouldn’t mind a mid-sized bar or lounge (3 stories tops) but seven stories is honestly a bit much here. I suppose it could work but I don’t really support it.

  • I sure am glad I don’t own property in that area.

  • I sure am glad I don’t own property in that area.

  • Culture lesson for the name haters: Kem Owens is a well-known Black artist in the R&B/classic soul genre. His debut album with Motown records, back in the early aughts, was “Kemistry.” Most of Kem’s fans, including moi, are solidly middle-class Black folk who will immediately recognize the reference in the name of this proposed business.

    As far as why a club needs 7 stories, it’s certainly not clear by the info presented thus far. Perhaps there is a mixed use intent here- lounge, offices, residential? No point in getting your bloomers into a knot without having more specific land use information.

    Lastly, I gotta wonder just what kind of businesses people thought would be coming to the neighborhood once the arena took hold? You think you could have a major sports venue and not have bars, lounges, clubs, etc. in close proximity? This is only the beginning of major “kemistry” changes for the neighborhood– many of which were predicted by the anti-AY protests in the first place. Yet, as so many on this site have been known to say: DONE DEAL. Get used to it.

    • It’s a residential area, brooklynista.

      What kind of response did you expect from plopping an arena in the middle of four landmarked, historic low-density neighborhoods?

      This is only the beginning of the public outcry and zoning fights. Get used to it.

      (Right back atcha.)

      • Chuck, FYI: I was an opponent of AY from the very start. And I’m not happy that it’s here for a long list of reasons. But, I’ve had to accept that is a DONE DEAL after all — whether I like it or not.

        What I can also tell you is that, as a homeowner in a Brooklyn residential area, I’m happy as hell that I don’t own or rent in the AY impact zone! Which means I get the NIMBY response to all the changes which are certain to befall this part of town. However, what I’ve got issues with in this thread is the way the protest is being framed by some of the opposition. Specifically, references to “wrong demographic” and “type of of people attracted to this lounge.” That’s plain out code speak for a NIMBY-speak that is based on something more than noise and traffic. And, yeah. I don’t like it and I’m speaking up about it.

        Now that the arena is clearly a done deal at this point, there should be equal opportunity for all the free enterprising types who want to claim a slice of the commercial pie. So long as it’s legal business which is also respectful of the surrounding community. The fact that this is a Black owned business with the name of “Kemistry” shouldn’t lead to the automatic assumption that this business won’t be.

        • Took the words right out of my mouth Brooklynista. Now that the arena is a done deal, anyone who has the money and sound business plan to open a business has the right to do so. There are plethora of homeowning, tax paying, equally contributing Brooklynites of color who patronize plenty of places (raises hand) without pillaging and vandalizing the area. So barefoot vegan hippies from upstate want to open an organic milkshake stand that’s okay;, but a person of color who happens to be a local wants to open a lounge in an empty spot and use his own money to do so is not okay? GTFOH

        • I love how your first point is “i don’t own or rent in the AY impact zone!”

          I also love how you like to repeat “done deal” in all caps as if it’s confers magical properties to the phrase.

          But I’m confounded that you are blind to the rights (yes, rights) of the people who are OWNERS or RENTERS (like the caps?) in the AY impact area to have a say in the development of their neighborhood.

          I don’t actually believe you were an opponent of AY, brooklynista. If you were, you would understand that the one thing we have never had “from the very start” is any of our concerns addressed. Not density, not traffic, not superblocks, not a single thing.

          You shouldn’t go into anyone’s neighborhood shouting “done deal” and think it’s a license to trample all over the people who have lived here – and are raising families here – since way before you or your arena came to town.

          It’s not about black vs. white — it’s about 4 residential neighborhoods with long-time residents who are fighting (and have been fighting for 9 years) to preserve a livable environment for them and their families.

          I’m disappointed to discover Montrose Morris agreed with you.

          • “DONE DEAL,” all caps, was, I’m sure, an ironic reference to the jubulant triumphalism of AY proponants on this list when construction of that monstrosity became inevitable.

          • Chuck,

            Brooklynista and I have been reading Brownstoner for a long time, and before a single shovel had been stuck into the ground at AY, there has been deep discord among the people who were pro-AY and those who were against it. ‘Nista and I have been anti from the beginning, for a number of reasons. Throughout those discussions, there was a large faction of posters who used to write, in caps, DONE DEAL on every single post, as proof positive that AY was all that was good, right and holy in Brooklyn. They posted it all day, everyday. So Brooklynista’s use of the phrase is not in your face, you are not getting the historical context here, not at all. She meant it totally in the opposite meaning that you took it. We never thought AY was a done deal, and in spite of the stadium, it turned out, quite predictably, to be anything but a done deal.

            That said, as presented, I agreed with her because she and I, know what coded language is, and “that demographic” is coded as coded gets. Now it may turn out that the person who said it meant a totally different thing altogether, but one would not get that impression from the story, or from some of the reactions to it, and her conclusion that this was racially motivated did not come out of left field.

            As a long time reader of this blog, almost from the beginning, the biggest disappointment I have discovered that I have is that racism is not dead, not even on this blog, no matter how enlightened, or educated, worldly, or liberal most of us like to think we are. Somehow, all of the “we are the world” togetherness seems to disappear when our turf is threatened, or we can’t get what we want, when we want it. It’s ugly, and frankly, I’ve decided that when I have the opportunity to say something about it, I will.

            I’m sorry if that ruins whatever image people may have of me, but Brooklynista was right in what she said. I also think she stated quite clearly what her position is on this matter, and doesn’t need to further defend that position, or parse it out in smaller words. One can disagree or agree. She, and I, were never in favor of AY. She, and I, thought that the “that demographic” when paired with the possibility of a black oriented establishment, was certainly suspect, and ripe for the interpretation it was given by almost EVERYONE who read it. It wasn’t until another reader who was at the meeting commented, that any other explanation was even put forth.

            Everything is not racial, but race is everywhere. For a black person in America,to deny that is naive. One only need look to Florida.

          • Yours is a well-written response, MM. Can I ask you a non-race related question?

            Do residents of neighborhoods around AY have a right (through zoning, liquor license stipulations, monitoring, and more) to determine the businesses that open in/serve their neighborhoods?

            I say “yes.” You and brooklynista are saying “no.”

            Really? It surprises me that anyone would shut residents out of the development of their own neighborhood. That’s what FCRC did. The fact that their AY is a DONE DEAL to me is utterly beside the point.

            C:

          • Chuck, where did either of us say that neighborhoods don’t have a right to have a say on what businesses go there? Of course they do, to a certain point. Brooklynista said the same thing, and I quote her from a post above, “without a doubt, you absolutely should have a voice as to what changes occur in your neighborhood!” I think that’s pretty clear.

            I have been vocal on the issue of a new pawnshop opening in my neighborhood of Crown Heights, which happened last year, I didn’t think it was an appropriate business for the location. I get your point, believe me.

            The point Brooklynista made, that I agreed with, was that the seemingly vociferous opposition to this particular establishment was not because it was another bar/lounge, in an area that will soon be over-saturated with same, but that this particular one would seem to be catering to a demographic that people did not want in their neighborhood, ie, black folks.

            The opposition to a non-specific bar is one thing, and can be argued on its merits or faults. To toss race into the mix is to take it to a whole different plane. THAT, and THAT ONLY, was the basis of our position.

          • MM, here is what Brooklynista’s originally stated:

            “Lastly, I gotta wonder just what kind of businesses people thought would be coming to the neighborhood once the arena took hold? You think you could have a major sports venue and not have bars, lounges, clubs, etc. in close proximity?

            This is only the beginning of major “kemistry” changes for the neighborhood– many of which were predicted by the anti-AY protests in the first place.

            Yet, as so many on this site have been known to say: DONE DEAL. Get used to it.”

            Reads pretty clearly as ‘you residents just better get used to all the bars! Tough luck!’

            C:

          • “Reads pretty clearly as ‘you residents just better get used to all the bars! Tough luck!’”

            I didn’t take it to mean that, at all. I took it to mean that the things the anti-AY’er were saying all along are now coming true, in regards to the quality of life in the area, and that that was no cause for celebration. Bars, etc will come, like it or not. It was foretold.

            I did not take her statement to be a gleeful one at all, but I’ve also known her for 5 years, and know quite well what she meant. I’m most disappointed that other people refuse to take her (and my) explanations at face value, and keep on trying to make some kind of sinister hidden meaningful point out of the whole thing.

            I now have yet another reason to not go into politics, not that I was going to. I know now first hand how an innocent expression of an opinion can turn into an unending defense of something you did not mean, or did not say, and no matter how often you point to the original statements, people refuse to believe you, and it’s quite impossible to disprove a negative. I’m really quite done with this.

      • Chuck, FYI: I was an opponent of AY from the very start. And I’m not happy that it’s here for a long list of reasons. But, I’ve had to accept that is a DONE DEAL after all — whether I like it or not.

        What I can also tell you is that, as a homeowner in a Brooklyn residential area, I’m happy as hell that I don’t own or rent in the AY impact zone! Which means I get the NIMBY response to all the changes which are certain to befall this part of town. However, what I’ve got issues with in this thread is the way the protest is being framed by some of the opposition. Specifically, references to “wrong demographic” and “type of of people attracted to this lounge.” That’s plain out code speak for a NIMBY-speak that is based on something more than noise and traffic. And, yeah. I don’t like it and I’m speaking up about it.

        Now that the arena is clearly a done deal at this point, there should be equal opportunity for all the free enterprising types who want to claim a slice of the commercial pie. So long as it’s legal business which is also respectful of the surrounding community. The fact that this is a Black owned business with the name of “Kemistry” shouldn’t lead to the automatic assumption that this business won’t be.

  • I can’t see an issue. It’s not like there isn’t already a lot of traffic and activity on this stretch of Flatbush. The retail can use all of the help it can get. Isn’t this a phenomenon of the holy grail of gentrification? So what’s the problem?

  • I can’t see an issue. It’s not like there isn’t already a lot of traffic and activity on this stretch of Flatbush. The retail can use all of the help it can get. Isn’t this a phenomenon of the holy grail of gentrification? So what’s the problem?

  • There are about fifteen liquor licenses within 500 feet of the proposed site and two day care facilities on the same block. It’s a short block with heavy traffic. That area is saturated with bars and has been a dangerous intersection for years. It’s a bad spot for another bar.

  • If the owners of Southpaw or the Brooklyn Bowl crowd wanted to build a 7 story mixed use building, with occasional live music and a bar at that spot – no one would bat an eye.

    But some R&B singer and his “urban” friends want to invest literally millions of dollars in the block and of course it’s all crime and shooting and pillaging and lost property values, and let us not forget – “the wrong demographic”.

    Because that’s how an entrepreneurs recoup their multi-million dollar investment – by purposefully targeting and attracting penniless and violent bunch of criminals to heavily policed area full of uptight yuppie shitheads who call the cops and 311 at a drop of a hat.

    And also, doormen, cover prices and drink price points will have no effect on clientele.

    Yep, there’s no racial element to this “worry” at all.

  • “There are about fifteen liquor licenses within 500 feet of the proposed site and two day care facilities on the same block. It’s a short block with heavy traffic. That area is saturated with bars”

    It’s an area full of bars. And now that a [gasp] BAR is opening on a major street near a sports arena, that’s an issue? Be careful crossing the street.

  • Well said, Brooklynista, well said.

  • Amazing all the hate being expressed at those who oppose an enormous new bar in an area that’s already got quite a few.
    Like all the haters, I initially assumed the “wrong demographic” comment meant “black.” But then I actually used my brain and considered that the person – who’s race we really don’t know – might have meant that the demographic of the neighborhood is predominantly families and others who don’t frequent bars or nightclubs. I mean, how many nightclubs currently exist in the middle of Park Slope?
    So ask yourself this: if a “white” bar like the Blarney Rock or Blarney Stone or any of the other dives that are clustered around MSG were to open up at the same location, don’t you think many in the community would voice the same opposition? To my mind, there’s no question that race is a factor in the opposition, but I hardly think it’s the only factor.
    To apply the logic of the true haters here, all opposition to the AY project is racist. And that’s a sentiment that was brilliantly exploited by Ratner and his cronies. So please, spare us your sanctimonious attitude and get to work demanding the jobs and affordable housing that were promised to the black community by Ratner but have yet to materialize. Otherwise, you’re simply continuing to be manipulated by those who exploit your anger and ignorance for their own gain.

    • I hope you didn’t offer up your reply to anything I’ve written, Parkedslope. Hard as it may be for you to believe, I am neither angry with, nor hate, you and your kind for being a NIMBY on this issue. Indeed, I’ve already said that I understand why folk who live on a residential block might not want a lounge to open next door. I’ve also stated rather clearly that I am a Black person who has been opposed to AY all along. So no, I will have to reject the red herring of a suggestion that all opposition to the AY project is racist.

      On to the “Big If”: (a nice way of diverting attention from the “Big Is”, I must say”): “If a “white” bar were proposed for this same location, do I think there would be opposition? Hell yes! Everyone opposes change, especially when it happens in their own backyard. But I do believe the public nature of the opposition would sound a bit different and not be couched as opposition to a “type of people” and “wrong” demographic”. Just sayin’.

      That’s not sanctimony, btw. It’s seeing the same set of very limited facts differently than you do and exercising my right to say so. I hasten to add, however, that I haven’t resorted to any name-calling or personal insults in order to make my points. So it would be great if you could exercise enough discipline to stick to your arguments without leveling ad hominen emotional attacks against those with whom you disagree.

      • All I can ask is as a residential property owner on this block, you accept me at my word and fervent belief that if this were, hypothetically, a “Blarney Stone” or new Southpaw, our concerns would be no different and our voices no less forthright. This is about the density of bars and alcohol serving establishments on a residential block.

        As said in my previous comment, I strongly believe given the context of her comments that the “wrong demographic” phrase was a reference to families, children, and the elderly and not one made by the speaker about race.

      • My comment was indeed directed in-part to you. Again, you may jump to assume “demographics” was veiled racism – but I’m not so sure, especially with what brooklynrob has contributed…
        Plus, I don’t think you’re fair to call me a NIMBY: I didn’t say I was against this place opening-up shop [fact is, I'm not opposed to a bar/club in that location, since Flatbush has always been a heavily commercial strip - though I can't say whether that vicinity is already saturated or whether this specific proposal is out of scale].
        I also just don’t agree with the “done deal” attitude either: AY was railroaded-through community opposition, employed eminent domain on grounds that are suspect, and was a bait-and-switch scam both in-terms of its design and its promises to benefit working people. Fact is, I actually think an arena was the right project for the location, but Ratner’s execution of the project was corrupt and dishonest to the extreme.
        So, I hardly think that because the arena will be open soon that people in the surrounding neighborhoods – ALL of them – should no longer have a say in development that is literally in their own backyards.
        Look, I appreciate what you’re saying – and again, it’s legit to suspect that race is a factor here. But it seems too easy to jump-on out-of-context words and see something much more nefarious than is actually going on.
        Finally, I stand-by “hater.” If you’re worried about ad-hominen attacks, then why have you been silent with ryan ["sick to my stomach" & "barefoot vegan hippies"], ftgreencorey ["The Torah Lounge"], crazypants ["yuppie sh*theads"]? And what about your own sarcasm ["heaven forbid"].
        It’s the hate I mind, not the difference of opinion.

        • It is pointless to carry on with you. Find another “hater” to play with.

          • OK – so you can’t be bothered to reply to a single point that I made. Although you seem eager to dismiss “my kind” [whatever that means] as racist NIMBY’s, I actually wanted to see if you could be a bit more open-minded and entertain a reasonable discussion.
            Again, there have been plenty of other people you could have called-out for making personal attacks, but because they seem to agree with you, they don’t seem to bother you…
            Too bad.

      • My comment was indeed directed in-part to you. Again, you may jump to assume “demographics” was veiled racism – but I’m not so sure, especially with what brooklynrob has contributed…
        Plus, I don’t think you’re fair to call me a NIMBY: I didn’t say I was against this place opening-up shop [fact is, I'm not opposed to a bar/club in that location, since Flatbush has always been a heavily commercial strip - though I can't say whether that vicinity is already saturated or whether this specific proposal is out of scale].
        I also just don’t agree with the “done deal” attitude either: AY was railroaded-through community opposition, employed eminent domain on grounds that are suspect, and was a bait-and-switch scam both in-terms of its design and its promises to benefit working people. Fact is, I actually think an arena was the right project for the location, but Ratner’s execution of the project was corrupt and dishonest to the extreme.
        So, I hardly think that because the arena will be open soon that people in the surrounding neighborhoods – ALL of them – should no longer have a say in development that is literally in their own backyards.
        Look, I appreciate what you’re saying – and again, it’s legit to suspect that race is a factor here. But it seems too easy to jump-on out-of-context words and see something much more nefarious than is actually going on.
        Finally, I stand-by “hater.” If you’re worried about ad-hominen attacks, then why have you been silent with ryan ["sick to my stomach" & "barefoot vegan hippies"], ftgreencorey ["The Torah Lounge"], crazypants ["yuppie sh*theads"]? And what about your own sarcasm ["heaven forbid"].
        It’s the hate I mind, not the difference of opinion.

  • Amazing all the hate being expressed at those who oppose an enormous new bar in an area that’s already got quite a few.
    Like all the haters, I initially assumed the “wrong demographic” comment meant “black.” But then I actually used my brain and considered that the person – who’s race we really don’t know – might have meant that the demographic of the neighborhood is predominantly families and others who don’t frequent bars or nightclubs. I mean, how many nightclubs currently exist in the middle of Park Slope?
    So ask yourself this: if a “white” bar like the Blarney Rock or Blarney Stone or any of the other dives that are clustered around MSG were to open up at the same location, don’t you think many in the community would voice the same opposition? To my mind, there’s no question that race is a factor in the opposition, but I hardly think it’s the only factor.
    To apply the logic of the true haters here, all opposition to the AY project is racist. And that’s a sentiment that was brilliantly exploited by Ratner and his cronies. So please, spare us your sanctimonious attitude and get to work demanding the jobs and affordable housing that were promised to the black community by Ratner but have yet to materialize. Otherwise, you’re simply continuing to be manipulated by those who exploit your anger and ignorance for their own gain.

  • Brooklynista ,

    As Montrosemorris commented, “well said.” You are right — any new business opportunities created by virtue of the arena’s arrival should be equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, etc. I too had many concerns about AY, but concur that it’s a “done deal” and we now need to live with this new reality in our neighborhood. That does not mean, though, that those who live on the surrounding blocks should not speak up about the future of our neighborhood.

    I live on the block where Kemistry is proposed and was at the CB6 meeting last night. I know personally the person who said “wrong demographic”. In the context of her entire remarks it was clear (to me at least) that the “demographic” she was referring to was the large number of young children and elderly on the block as being the “wrong demographic” to be expected to live amongst (or next to) a bar with 3am closing hours on weekends – i.e., “We (families with children and/or elderly family members) are the wrong demographic”. You’re free to interpret the comments as you will based on the reporter’s recounting, and I of course can understand how this turn of phrase could be seen as “code” for race. But I truly believe that was in no way the intent given the context and her larger point about the residential block the new club would be part of.

    I am concerned about Kemistry not because of who the business owners are (who went out of their way to stick around after the hearing to speak with us and hear our concerns in more detail) or because of who the clientele might hypothetically be. Speaking only for myself – though I suspect my neighbors might agree — the primary concern is one of increasing density of alcohol serving establishments on Flatbush between Prospect Pl and 6th Ave and the attendant issues of noise, traffic, driving while intoxicated, parking, trash, etc. We get it – the arena is coming and there is going to be an impetus to create new drinking establishments. But that doesn’t mean that residents, including people like me that own property here and lived here before the arena, shouldn’t have a voice in how many new drinking establishments get created. Those who want to create businesses that attract those attending arena events are not the only voice allowed at the table. The residents of these blocks have a right to speak up too. Many of us were here before the arena, and certainly before the many new bars and restaurants arrived. I think we have the right to be heard too.

    Simply put, when do we reach a point of saturation? Is it Kemistry the tipping point? 5 more bars in the area? When the entire stretch from Grand Army Plaza to Atlantic is nothing but bars and clubs? We’re already seen so much more traffic on streets such as 6th Ave and cross streets like Prospect Place. Late night in the metered parking sections of 6th Avenue has become very loud as people pour out of places like Flatbush Farm/Bar(n) and Sugarcane to get into their cars and drive home. We need to discuss as a community how many bars are appropriate given the amount of residences in this area.

    This isn’t about race — it’s about a tipping point related to places serving booze late night. As current residential property owners and tenants we’re seeking a voice in the future of our blocks.

    • Thank you, Brooklynrob. That was an extremely well-stated, non-emotional reply which sets forth your point of view rather clearly. Fact is, you have presented many arguments with which I can agree. And, without a doubt, you absolutely should have a voice as to what changes occur in your neighborhood!

      Finally, yes, BR — I do know that this issue is not only about race for everyone — even if it for some. I hope you continue to post in this manner and keep us informed how things progress on this matter. I do believe that Brooklyn is at its best when folk are willing to exchange vigorously and honestly with each other while remaining open to “hear” each other in the process.

  • MM – I came back today to see if this is still an active thread. I’m really surprised that you are still doggedly defending the rush-to-judgement about the “demographic” comment – even after someone who was actually in earshot of it said that it had a different meaning than what you assumed.
    Have you ever heard the expression “someone who carries around a hammer sees nails everywhere?” Yes, racism is still alive-and-well in NYC. Yes, Park Slope is infamous for its history of red-lining. I get that.
    But please, this is a 7-story nightclub that you’re arguing-over – not Brown vs Board of Education…
    I don’t want to make too fine a point of this, but if we were to see every issue through the lens of bigotry, then should we question if there had been an anti-Semitic tinge to your opposition to that pawn shop?
    Yesterday there was a lot of trash-talk directed at people who defended the CB discussion. If someone wants to claim the moral high-ground, then they’ve got to oppose the hate from both sides.

    • Parkedslope, you seem to have the unerring ability to read what you’d like to see, into what other people are writing in plain English. I second Brooklynista’s frustration with trying to have a conversation with you. If you are going to read hidden meaning into everything anyone says, then why bother?

      And talking about jumping to conclusions nowhere in evidence – what’s with the anti-Semitism comment? I would think that if you are going to be so self-righteous as to damn me for making the assumption that “that demographic” was anti-black, then you would be far too politically correct to assume that every pawn broker in this city is Jewish. Stereotyping, much?

  • The opposition only seems particularly vociferous if you take all of brownstoner’s innuendo as truth and if you are not paying attention to what others have said here or to what the communities are actually opposing, and that’s really not fair. What’s actually been happening is that almost every recent liquor license application for the area (and there have been MANY) has been opposed by members of the community on the grounds of inappropriateness to a largely residential area and the oversaturation of bars serving hard alcohol in a concentrated area. Look ‘em up: Carlton Park, Sunburnt Calf, Prime Six, etc…basically every establishment recently applying – even some who already run establishments in the neighborhood-and very little to suggest the opposition to any of these was driven by overt or implied racism.

    And it is perfectly acceptable for residents to want to protect our quality of life, particularly when many of these proposals need to seek a variance from the “no more than 2 liquor licensed establishments within 500 feet” rule. That is to say, no one has the “right” to open up a bar here just because there’s an empty storefront. To me, that means a potential 7-story nightclub doesn’t get a free pass from our opportunities to influence development in an open and democratic way just because the would-be proprietor is black. Even if that means that brownstoner gets another opportunity to unfairly stoke racial tensions.

  • Hmm, interesting thread, is it about race, class, culture, or simply – the quality of life? Who knows? But as Brooklynista and others have said – the surrounding areas of AY becoming laden with bars and other places of merriment is inevitable – however it does not mean morphing into the East Village.

    I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the old Arsenal soccer stadium in Highbury – bourgeois North London, located smack in the middle of sleepy row houses (imagine Fenway Park on 6th Ave and 3rd st in the Slope)

    There is The Wrigley Field Area Chicago, with more bars than rice – many opening up right into the street, yet the side streets with gorgeous town homes, were as quiet as a cemetery – on a Sat night.

    I think this is about change and Brooklyn Brownstoners being wary of embracing things that do not fit into their lifestyle. As “crazy pants” said – “Kemistry” is not just another kid friendly organic milk bar or and overly thought out (down to the brioche buns and sweet potato fries) hipster friendly watering hole North Slopers are used to.

    I will take BK Rob’s words at face value but “wrong demographic” =’s different. Remember the controversy around the flea being at Vanderbilt and Carlton a year ago? – With mostly black homeowners objecting to their day of worship being wrecked by record and trinket hunting shoppers; there was even a tinge of anti-semitism in some of their comments. What about the rather infamous letter sent out to fellow religious landlords about the dangers immodestly dressed “goy” sunbathers invading Crown Heights?

    Brooklyn is changing folks, right before our eyes, like a teenage child- you can fight it all you want, it won’t matter. You might as well embrace it.