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April 26, 2011

A gastropub and sports bar coming to Pacific & Flatbush: another incursion on residents or the best alternative near the arena? CB calls for caution

Atlantic Yards Report

Residents of northwest Park Slope, already wary of seemingly under-the-radar efforts to install new arena-related bars near the under-construction Barclays Center, had some harsh words last night for entrepreneurs aiming to put Players Gastro Pub and Sportsbar, plus a pizza/falafel quick serve combo, in a building on Pacific Street at Flatbush Avenue now home to a furniture store.

(Above left, photo from Google Maps; note that the building at left has been demolished and is the site of arena construction. The view is looking south along Flatbush.)

“We do not need a bar on Pacific Street,” commented resident Syble Henderson, who helped found the Brooklyn Bear’s community garden at the northwest corner of Pacific and Flatbush, speaking at at a Community Board 6 subcommittee meeting concerning permits and licenses.

“Historically that block has been impacted with all kinds of anti-social activities,” Henderson said at the meeting held at the 78th Precinct at Bergen Street and Sixth Avenue, referring to drugs and prostitution residents fought 30 years ago. “We have fought long and hard to bring stability to that block... This is an attraction for all kinds of misuse.”

About 15 other residents nearby joined Henderson in her sentiments, while no resident spoke in favor of the plans, and the committee agreed to postpone any recommendation to the State Liquor Authority until its meeting next month and further discussion about the new facilities’ operating plans and procedures. (The Community Board’s vote is advisory, but can push parties to negotiate.)

One issue, reminiscent of the recent tensions over the Prime 6 bar/restaurant planned at Flatbush and Sixth Avenue, was how much notice residents got. Signs were posted on Thursday in the 500-foot radius of the planned new facilities, but several residents said they never saw them.
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While the sentiments might be portrayed as NIMBY, it might be more accurate to call them the tensions arising from putting an arena so close to a residential neighborhood. 
(The state is overriding city zoning that requires a 200-foot barrier between sports facilities and residents.)

For their part, the entrepreneurs insisted that their plan was the best alternative for a newly-coveted spot and that their landlord, Henry Weinstein--a mainstay of the North Flatbush Business Improvement District (BID) and, while an owner of land in the Atlantic Yards footprint, a prominent opponent of the arena plan--recognized that.

Players would operate 11 am to 4 am daily, occupying 3500 square feet, with seating for 150 and two bars, one with 15 seats, the other with six seats.

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NoLandGrab: Et tu, Henry?

Posted by eric at April 26, 2011 11:02 AM