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Neighbors put this bar plan out of ‘The Woods’

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The party was over even before it started.

A popular bar on Williamsburg’s fast-emerging “Restaurant Row” quietly abandoned plans to expand its backyard garden after nearby residents complained about too much late-night noise.

Dave Rosen and Matt Relkin, owners of the seven-month-old S. Fourth Street bar, The Woods, wanted to add seven stools in an adjacent backyard and have the area serve as a meeting place for community groups and the pick-up spot for a neighborhood community-supported agriculture group to grab its vegetables this summer.

“The new back bar space can serve as a community meeting place for groups. The space will be closed for normal service during most weekdays and night, so it can be easily detected as a private meeting space or operated as a cash bar for fundraisers,” said Rosen in an e-mail sent to supporters.

Unfortunately, the expansion plan angered the bar’s neighbors, who swarmed to a Community Board 1 Public Safety Committee meeting last week to complain about noise from the bar’s existing activities.

The outcry prompted Rosen and Relkin to scrap the plans — much to the disappointment of some community leaders, such as Ryan Kuonen of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, who said that the bar has hosted a fundraiser and meetings for her group in an area that has few community facilities.

As such, she thinks Rosen has been unfairly bullied by residents on the block and the community board.

“I’ve never had a problem with this bar,” said Kuonen, who lives three blocks away. “Since The Woods opened, South Third and South Fourth streets have been safe.”

Allison Davis, another South side resident, says the owner has done a lot for the neighborhood and wonders where the pickup for the Southside CSA will be.

“They’re following the same rules as everyone else, I don’t see why they can’t expand,” said Davis.

For his part, Rosen only added, “We support the neighborhood and we’re committed to being good neighbors.”

It’s not the first time that a South Side bar has been on the receiving end of neighborhood anger. Two weeks ago, Trophy Bar caught the ire of locals for holding a backyard party without installing a secondary exit.

Public Safety Committee Chairman Mieszko Kalita said that if bar owners want to renew their liquor license, they must agree to close their backyards at 11 pm on weeknights and 1 am on weekends, but most have demurred.

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Reader Feedback

Jill from East Williamsburg says:
Well I guess limitations on freedom like this are just what we can expect in Obama's "America".
He probably plans to load the garden with illegal immigrants who will then suddenly become citizens of Williamsburg.
May 26, 2010, 6:48 am
mgw from Williamsburg says:
THANK YOU JILL! President Obama's personal control of Community Board 1 has gone unopposed for too long.
May 26, 2010, 9:55 am
twatter from burg says:
S3rd and S4th have just become safe in the last 7 months? Nonsense! With the scrap metal business and the constant sidewalk BBQs, it has been safe for a while. Quite a nice little corner of Wburg until Wythe became a truck route.
May 26, 2010, 10:28 am
Tall Guy from Woods neighbor says:
This article was not researched properly. The Woods have not been a good neighbor since day one. The neighbors rallied and complained because there was reason to rally and complain, not because we're a bunch of bullies. We're not the new influx of sensitive yuppies, we're people who have been living here for over 10 years. We're artists, musicians, photographers and such. Ryan Kounen lives 3 blocks away, of course he hasn't had a problem with them! Haaa! Try talking to the direct neighbors who aren't getting free drinks from The Woods. When Dave and Matt decided to use the space for a loud club the first thing they should have thought of was to soundproof the place, but they didn't. So now what was once a huge warehouse is now a huge vibrating speaker. Had they put a little forethought into it they could have done some soundproofing. They are the owners of Savalas on Bedford so they have some experience. They have ignored the city rules of what time to close their huge yard leaving lots of loud drunk peeps being loud drunk peeps past 1 AM everynight. The only thing us bully neighbors wanted was for The Woods to simply abide by the laws. They try weakly to hide behind saying the new bar space can be used as a meeting space for community groups. Ummm... they can't have their meeting in the other 2000 sq feet of the bar you have? We're not against The Woods, it seems like we're all just having to adjust to being neighbors. The neighbors and the Woods have had more open communication since the board meeting and things are getting better slowly. I will say they have been a little better about turning down lately, but them lil coked out hipsters are still yelling pretty loud in their yard after proper hours. We'll work this out all nice like I'm sure. But really, Aaron Short, try talking to all sides before shooting off.
May 26, 2010, 1:27 pm
Kind Neighbor from Williamsburg says:
I, too am a neighbor of "The Woods." I and the other neighbors who attended the committee meeting were not gathered to pursue any political goal or bully any reasonable businesses. We assembled to remind the local business owners, who do not live in the neighborhood as we do, that we do not live in "the woods," but are their neighbors and only want to be treated fairly. The author of the above article (Mr. Short) should have done a better job of reporting and inquire as to both sides of the argument and not discount an entire neighborhood as "bullies."
May 26, 2010, 5:26 pm
cc495 from williamsburg says:
This place is out of control . From 10pm to 4:30am almost every night . I have lived by many bars without complaint and this is the loudest . They are horrible neighbors . They should be shut down .
Oct. 22, 2011, 5:54 am
Sonali from South Williamsburg says:
Good job only getting quotes from people who've lived here for 5 minutes. NAGG should really talk to people in the area who are being disturbed by the last night noise from this place rather than defending them just because the Woods gave them meeting space.
May 27, 2015, 5:32 pm

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