A war is brewing between local residents and the proprietors of bars and restaurants near the Barclays Arena over changes in the character of the area, according to a story in the weekend Wall Street Journal, “New Nets Arena Proves a Magnet.” Food and drink retailers are eagerly seeking to open new venues, hoping to become the pre- and post-game hang-out spots for game goers. Meanwhile, residents and local community boards are resisting bottle service (See: Kemistry) and Hooters-type establishments.
“Residents are bracing themselves for the noise, litter and traffic the crowds will bring with them,” the article says. City councilwoman for the area Tish James was quoted as saying “I’m concerned that it’s becoming booze alley. I’m concerned that other corridors are becoming burger heaven. Once the arena is dark, you have a community that remains, and a community with a lot of children and young families.”
Another factor is the disconnect between residents–old-timers and recent arrivals alike–and the folks they fear will inhabit the sports bars and Meatpacking District-like clubs along the Flatbush corridor. The clash is more pronounced than at some other sports arenas because of the strong existing residential fabric. “Because the Barclays Center area was already on a sharp economic upswing, the arena has created a clash with the forces of gentrification, as affluent residents are demanding different services than arena-goers,” said the article.
New Nets Arena Proves a Magnet [WSJ]
Kemistry Lounge’s Future in Question [Brownstoner]
Hooters in Park Slope? Residents Say ‘Fuggedaboutit!’ [Brownstoner]
Photo by Alex Terzich