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‘War on Brunch’ vote coming

The Brooklyn Paper
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There may soon be an armistice in the War on Brunch.

A law that bans wobbly Brooklynites from nursing their hangovers on city sidewalks before noon on Sunday would be obliterated if a bill scheduled to go before the council next month is passed.

Until then, restaurants that dare to serve patrons on sidewalks before high-noon on the day of rest risk getting ticketed for the illegal action, a fact that a Williamsburg councilman says needs to be changed.

“It’s totally common sense,” said Steve Levin. “I’m not even sure why it’s a law,”

That’s why Levin is co-sponsoring the bill to nix the obscure law that’s been on the books since at least the 1970s, but only became relevant when restaurants in Williasmburg began being hit by the city for breaking it.

“It wasn’t a big deal until people started getting fined,” Levin said.

In fact, 9t was all quiet on the Brooklyn front until last year, when Community Board 1 member Tom Burrows began encouraging the city to crack down on pre-noon brunch scofflaws.

Burrows said having Sunday brunchers on the sidewalk before noon prevented worshippers from getting to church.

That prompted cops to ticket two restaurants forcing them to stop serving brunch outside until the sun was directly overhead.

“We had no choice,” said Kathy Mecham, who owns Five Leaves restaurant on Bedford Avenue at Lorimer Street. “Once you get the fine, if you don’t comply, they start looking for other things.”

As soon as the law is changed, though, Mecham says she’ll go back to putting the tables out at 8 am.

“It’s not like we have people out there at 3 am making noise,” she said. “These are people with strollers who want to enjoy the nice weather before the crowds come out.”

Even leaders of local churches said the old law was lame.

said she thought the reasoning that pre-noon outdoor brunchers kept worshippers from church was lame.

“We love churching so much, the allure of brunch does not stop us,” said Pastor Ann Kansfield of the Greenpoint Reformed Church. “Brunching does not stop churching.”

Burrows did not return calls for comment.

The council has not yet scheduled a vote.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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Reasonable discourse

Bruce St. Gay from Brookland says:
The gay community has been through enough already! By Barbara, if they ban brunch I will throw such a hissy-fit!
May 28, 2013, 9:46 am
Maria Lopez from Latino says:
What about juevos rancheros? Que?
May 28, 2013, 10:10 am
Chooch-buster from Park Slope says:
Another niche for the enterprising hipster to fill. Go for it!
May 28, 2013, 11:56 am
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
I'm sorry I thought most streets had a sidewalk on each side of the street. Am I mistaken?

This whole thing is a complete joke. It's all about the old-school Brooklyn fossils trying to screw the newer residents somehow. There is no possible argument that could be made for not allowing sidewalk tables.

If you're trying to get to church and the sidewalk is busy...CROSS THE FREAKING STREET!!!
May 28, 2013, 11:58 am
Brunches from 11222 says:
Yes, I'll just roll my wheelchair off the curb, into the street, and go to the other side until I get around the throngs of people jamming the sidewalk. Then when I get around it I will cross back over to the side I need to be on. If the frequent offenders, like 5 Leaves, actually operated their restaurants in a professional, courteous manner and kept the sidewalks passable this would never have been an issue to begin with. If a business is going to act as if it owns the sidewalk it needs to take some responsibility for training its staff to be able to handle that responsibility. It's that simple.
May 28, 2013, 1:28 pm
Northside Ned from 11222 says:
My god, what a problem. Brunches from 11222 , I am touched by the hardship you have endured. You are a true inspiration.
May 28, 2013, 2:45 pm
diehipster from gowanus kale farmer says:
Waaaaaaa waaaaaaaaa! Mommy! The normal, non attention seeking actual residents won't let me sit outside to eat local kale n' eggs for all to see my summer scarf, new shades, follow-the-leader beard and on purpose bed head hair do. How will all the other identical homogenized interlopers see me? Make it stop mommy! Make it stop! The blogs I read back in Minnesota about Brooklyn didn't mention actual people that lived here.

Your 35 year old boy,

Caleb
May 28, 2013, 2:46 pm
diehipster from gowanus kale farmer says:
Hahahahaha !!! I just noticed the picture of Josh and Harrison toasting their "free" mimosa and bloody Mary that comes with their $15.00 eggs over easy. Just look at those 2 out of place try hards. So NOT BROOKLYN. For all we know that could be "Interloper" & "Mike [not actually] from Williamsburg". Hahahahahahhaha look at them!!!! LOOK AT MEEEEEEEE IM BRUNCHING!!! YAAAAH DAYUUUUDE!!
May 28, 2013, 3:15 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
diehipster is just pissed that he/she can't buy brunch with foodstamps. You've never admitted what you do for a living so I'm going to continue to label you a useless, hateful and uneducated drain on society.

Brunches - If you're legitimately and permanently in a wheelchair and not just saying that to add credibility to your case, then I do honestly understand where you're coming from (if you're lying there is a special spot in hell for people like you). However, despite what many people would believe there is more than enough sidewalk space to allow a wheelchair to pass in front of the sidewalk tables at Five Leaves, I eat there all the time. Additionally, in the event that you have trouble I highly doubt that even the most pretentious of brunchers would have a problem making room for a handicapped person. If you're having trouble and don't ask then its your own fault.
May 28, 2013, 3:18 pm
mc from 11211 says:
The restaurants themselves need to train their staffs to abide by some very basic rules for this situation to improve. I think they must like the press, since they don't bother training their employees to do a better job of it.
May 28, 2013, 3:29 pm
Northside Ned from Brunch says:
"If you're legitimately and permanently in a wheelchair and not just saying that to add credibility to your case, then I do honestly understand where you're coming from (if you're lying there is a special spot in hell for people like you)"

Nonsense. I live very close to 5 Leaves. I have walked past it and around that corner a million times. I have never been unable to make my way through. I would argue that it would be even easier to do in a wheelchair, because almost everyone is sensitive to that, and will make an extra effort to get out of the way. Brunches from 11222 story is BS. This whole issue is BS. It's a non-issue. It's just a loophole that useless idiots like diehipster are using to try and stick to a segment of the population that is more successful than they are. The only issue here is the 'natives' mental illnesses.
May 28, 2013, 3:33 pm
Sensible thoughts from a person who knows says:
The brunch industry employs thousands. This could have a knock-on effect on the economy, with unknown effect. The so-called tripple dip crash, too big not to fail.
May 28, 2013, 4:17 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
"diehipster is just pissed that he/she can't buy brunch with foodstamps. You've never admitted what you do for a living so I'm going to continue to label you a useless, hateful and uneducated drain on society."

Hey interloper, when are you going to stop beating your wife?

Ad hominem attacks are stupid, try using logic.

May 28, 2013, 4:24 pm
old time brooklyb from slope says:
didn't this start about alchy drinks being served before noon (btw 0 - it is state law)
May 28, 2013, 9:18 pm
Marie A. from France says:
Let them eat lunch!
May 29, 2013, 11:42 am

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