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March 2, 2011

Is Any Business Safe From the Arenafication of Brooklyn?

by Joey Arak

Atlantic Yards is already the biggest thing to hit Brooklyn since that meteor that killed all the dinosaurs (look it up), and its impact will extend far beyond the megaproject's footprint. The under-construction Barclays Center is a huge arena, and huge arenas bring in huge crowds. Local businesses that rely on the exchange of goods and services for currency like to appeal to these crowds. It's the reason why you can't swing a dead Flyers fan outside Madison Square Garden without hitting a sports bar. But the Barclays Center is not in Midtown, and already brownstone Brooklyn residents are fearing the first signs of the arenafication of their neighborhoods.

That's apparent in the backlash to Prime 6, the planned bar/restaurant at Flatbush and Sixth Avenues that some Park Slopers assume will be a rowdy hip-hop club catering to arena crowds. The latest chapter in the saga, Fucked in Park Slope points out, is one resident's apparently serious attempt to get Prime 6's owner to opt for indie rock over hip-hop. And nope, race has nothing to do with it.

Even some local haunts appear to be getting arenafied. Ancient dive bar O'Connor's on Fifth Avenue and Dean Street, not far from the Barclays Center, is tripling in size and adding an upstairs restaurant in an effort to modernize, the Brooklyn Paper reports. The owners say it has nothing to do with the arena, but one regular says "it seems like there won’t be that same run-down feeling," and an O'Connor's bartender told the BP "the vibe might change." What's next, Gorilla Coffee selling Nets foam fingers?


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Sorry Park Slope: this is the kind of thing that makes me want to move to NJ and live in a white community that ADMITS they're racist.

Apparently this "petition" has been floating around facebook since yesterday; and I'm embarrassed to see that a few douchebags have actually SIGNED it.

The gist of it is that this retarded park slope yenta (non jewish? thank g-d) is trying to convince the owners of that new controversial bar on Flatbush, Prime 6, to "embrace indie music" instead of hip hop. If you read between the lines, the none-too-subtle message is that she'd rather have white guys in flannels standing around her patio than hard hittin' brothas with blow-torches and pairs a' pliers.


So here's the gist of my big idea: Isn't there some middle ground between this spot being a stroller repair shop and it being a full-on hip-hop club?

No one can change the fact that Prime 6 WILL exist - they have their liquor license, and nothing's going to deter them from opening. BUT: What if owner Akiva Ofshtein could be convinced that his business will see far more financial success as a different kind of nightlife establishment. Instead of focussing on hip-hop and urban entertainment, what if Prime 6 embraced some of the more indie local artists of ALL races who live and perform in the area.

The L Magazine, Park Slope, Manhattan Beach Fight to Keep Out Poor People, Black People

Now, tempers are high over a planned nightclub that plans to open near where the Barclays Center will be. Prime 6, a multi-story restaurant and lounge at Sixth and Flatbush avenues, concerns neighbors because it could attract an unwanted element. "To have a restaurant for the Atlantic Yards crowd is different than to have a restaurant for this community," a representative for Councilmeber Stephen Levin said at last night's community board meeting, the Park Slope Patch reported. Critics' central complaint seems to be noise: the planned late hours, combined with outdoor seating areas.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, Bottle Service Comes to Flatbush

OK, so there may not be a Carlton Avenue bridge anytime soon, but don't say that the Arena hasn't already started to bring new features to the neighborhood. Last night at a contentious Community Board 6 meeting, Park Slope residents received a first, somewhat murky look at the plans for Prime 6 NYC at the corner of Flatbush and Sixth Avenue.

With three liquor licenses already approved, Prime 6 NYC's proprietors promise a multi-floor establishment with "bottle service" open to 4 AM, plus a large outdoor area adjoining residential property. Prime 6 NYC has been variously described in the media as "a gentleman's club", a "hip-hop venue" and a "sports bar"; something, as it were, for the whole family.

Park Slope Patch, Petition Urges Atlantic Yards-Area Restaurant to 'Embrace Indie Music'

The Brooklyn Paper, Another old-man bar bites the dust as O’Connor’s gets pre-Nets makeover

Fifth Avenue’s beloved old-man bar, O’Connor’s, will get a makeover and expansion just in time for the Barclays Center to open a couple blocks away — but the owner says his loyalties are to longtime customers, not the thousands of sports fans who will fill the arena next year.

Come summertime, the no-frills Prohibition-era dive will be expanded to include an upstairs restaurant with seating that serves “good, off-the-bone Irish-American food” and — for the first time — beer on tap. It will be three times bigger and one story taller.

“We’re trying to keep the old look, but modernize it a bit,” said owner Mike Maher, who has run the bar, near Dean Street, for three years.

Maher said that the renovation and retooling had nothing to do with the 19,000-seat arena rising one block away, but the arena is sure to draw a crowd of sporty types from outside Park Slope to a place that’s now only popular with a small band of regulars.

NoLandGrab: This is exactly the kind of crazy stuff that happens when you override zoning laws and allow Bruce Ratner to drop an enormous arena in the midst of three residential neighborhoods. There are not a whole lot of residential uses in the blocks near Madison Square Garden — for good reason.

Posted by eric at March 2, 2011 11:09 AM