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Garfield's on Fourth Avenue

Fourth avenue event space takes heat for restaurant plans

for The Brooklyn Paper
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A private party space accused by neighbors of bringing unreasonable noise, triple-parked cars, and unsavory characters to Fourth Avenue may open as a bar and restaurant — and critical locals are already giving the plan bad reviews.

Kitty Hernandez is trying to convert Garfield’s from a party venue into a proper pub and eatery with a full-time liquor license after five years of hosting first communions, birthday parties, and other events with temporary permits near the corner of Garfield Place.

“We’re hoping to have brunch and a piano bar. There will be stroller parking for the kids. I want to have movie nights and karaoke,” Hernandez said. “I’ve got a beautiful plan.”

But skeptical neighbors say the venue on the border of Gowanus and Park Slope shouldn’t get a rubber stamp from the State Liquor Authority — claiming that on the nights when it’s open it clogs streets with traffic, closes too late, and serves underage drinkers.

“A few nights ago, they had a party for teenagers, and they were drinking in the streets,” said Gerald Siciliano, who says he could come around to support the business so long as Hernandez takes neighbors’ concerns into consideration.

Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman said he has heard a handful of complaint about noise and rowdiness at Garfield’s, including one incident in which a partier allegedly sat on a neighbor’s car and hurled a bottle of Courvoisier cognac at the man’s door.

“These are just the kind of quality of life issues that one doesn’t want to hear about,” Hammerman said.

Hernandez claims that in the past year, most of the parties were family-oriented — including a 90th birthday party and a dental school graduation.

She says she only served alcohol at two events — a Cinco de Mayo celebration and a company’s employee party.

Back in the aughts, when some of the rowdier events took place, Hernandez said she subleased the space to other promoters. But she admits some celebrations got a little out of control under her watch, such as a last-minute memorial party for a corrections officer.

“I opened the doors and there were 1,500 people in and out of here,” said Hernandez. “If I had that to do over again, I’d be more organized about it.”

Garfield’s isn’t without its fans — Hernandez has collected more than 100 signatures from supporters who back the planned bar and restaurant, and a handful of neighborhood businesses have written letters of endorsement.

CB6 will vote on Hernandez’s application for a liquor license this month. In the meantime, Hernandez is considering changing the name of the venue to get a fresh start.

“Someone suggested Hurricane Kitty’s,” she said. “I think it’s adorable.”

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Reader Feedback

Mickey Shea from Greenpoint says:
Unsavory characters: hipsters?
June 22, 2012, 10:27 am
whatever from greenpoint says:
Yeah, because you see hipsters on the streets drinking Courvoisier cognac from the bottle all the time.

Now if it was Absinthe I'd agree with you....
June 22, 2012, 11:11 am
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
Unsavory characters: correction officers?

Above the law.
June 22, 2012, 11:34 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
At least they're bringing people to Fourth Avenue. It could and should be a grand boulevard, especially with all the new residential highrises going up along it. But it's always been like the twilight zone, especially at night.
June 24, 2012, 1:16 pm
Esther from Park Slope says:
Thank you Scott I agree. That unruly crowd happened to be 75 of the Berkley Carroll graduates and I am ashamed of what happened. She agreed to let the 18 year olds use the space for the graduation meet and greet at my request. My son is spectacular and so is his graduating class. The party of 75 was tweeted and mayhem thereafter. She gracefully shut the party down as orderly as possible. It ended at 11 she refused to let the rowdy crowd stay until 12, the arranged time. Ms Kitty does not promote underage age drinking however, does promote trying to keep kids off the street and gave them a shot with every intention of doing whats right for the kids. The misbehaved to no fault of hers! Gatorade & Snapple were the drink of the party with not one drop of spirits on premises. I as a parent was there to supervise the party and was truly disappointed at the way our children behaved. She is a stellar woman and providing a space for a children one night at the year is commendable.
June 24, 2012, 9:24 pm
Esther from Park Slope says:
She will only help 4th Avenue flourish through her efforts. Long park slope neighbors are well aware of 4th avenue and commend her giving what I agree.. the twilight zone.. a shot.! Cheers Ms. Kitty. Best of luck and we will spend many a night together when you are officially open. God Bless You.
June 24, 2012, 9:27 pm
Jean from Brooklyn says:
How did the neighbors miss the Cancer Events she held that raised over $10,000. Several times?
June 25, 2012, 10:01 am
Jean from Brooklyn says:
Unsavory characters: Friends and family of
Cancer victims?
June 25, 2012, 10:04 am
Delly C from Queens, NY says:
I was at a shower for my daughter just yesterday and everything went well. The doors were closed and everthing that happened there , was orderly and decent. Similarly; I was there almost 2 years ago and again, all was calm.
March 25, 2013, 10:03 am

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