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April 2, 2012

Another planned bar/lounge on Flatbush Avenue, Kemistry, provokes concern over exit on residential street, "nightclub" plans

Atlantic Yards Report

We'd missed this story last week, and planned to post it today, but Norman Oder beat us to the punch — as per usual.

Not surprisingly, there's another controversy over a lounge/nightclub planned near the Barclays Center arena at a location that fronts on busy Flatbush Avenue but had a rear exist on a residential street.

In this case, as described by Park Slope Patch and Brownstoner last week, it's The Kemistry Lounge International, which has a placeholder website, but a Facebook page, now offline (but cached), alarmed some neighbors.

(The name, as pointed out by a Brownstoner commenter, is apparently a nod to Kem Owens. The location is 260 Flatbush Avenue, noted on the map.)

The concerns

The main concerns seem to be:

  • whether there will be an exit onto Prospect Place
  • whether the 245-person capacity space will be a nightclub with rowdy people out late

The first issue seems relatively straightforward: bar owners told Brownstoner that the back exit would be used only as an emergency exit. Surely that can be negotiated.

The second issue may be tougher to pin down. If the lounge will have dancing only for private events, as Patch reported, how often would they be? If, in the words of co-owner James Brown, "It won't be a nightclub," what does that mean?

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Related coverage...

Park Slope Patch, Nabes Don’t Want Upscale Lounge on Flatbush Ave.

Prospect Place is a quaint and quiet residential block—and most of the neighborhood wants to keep it that way.

Last night, at the Community Board 6's permits and licenses committee, twenty or so residents of the tree-lined street voiced serious concerns about the proposed 245-person capacity restaurant and bar/lounge called Kemistry Lounge, which is on Flatbush between Sixth Avenue and Prospect Place.
...

Joe Marvel, who has been living on Prospect Place since 1975 and lives right next to the new development’s plate glass exit on Prospect Place, is worried about his quality of life.

“The whole neighborhood will be affected by this place’s throbbing music at all hours of the night and there will be an uptick of loitering and urinating,” Marvel said. “In no way are we opposed to business, but we are opposed to clubs.”
...

After the meeting, Kemistry's James Brown said he wasn’t discouraged, but rather that a negative reaction was “par for the course.”

“I think it is good and the community’s concerns are legitimate,” Brown said. “We want to make changes and adapt our environment to their concerns so we can work and live together.”

Brownstoner, Slope Residents Worry About Another Arena-Area Club

Posted by eric at April 2, 2012 10:43 AM