Police say they will investigate a Carroll Gardens pizzeria that features scantily clad male go-go dancers once a week.
The weekly “Fondle” party, which started in February at South Brooklyn Pizza on Court Street, didn’t get mentioned beyond the listings section of most newspapers. But on Sunday, the New York Times wrote about the gay-themed bacchanal, creating not only a maelstrom for the pizzeria, but renewing debate over whether tight-knit Carroll Gardens was truly welcoming to newcomers.
First, the maelstrom:
“That [Times article] was the first I heard of [Fondle] night,” Captain Kenneth Corey of the 76th Precinct, which covers Carroll Gardens, told members of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association on Monday night. “We’re going to determine the legality of it. If they’re outside of it, then we’re going to take action.”
A police source told The Brooklyn Paper that authorities would examine whether South Brooklyn Pizza violated cabaret license regulations.
The looming police threat evidently arose after the Times story revealed that a key detail about the “Fondle” party: it includes go-go dancers.
The article suggested that strippers are incompatible with the Old Gray Lady’s understanding of Carroll Gardens as an insular, old Italian neighborhood. The neighborhood, of course, is changing, and many of the newer residents don’t mind a gay go-go night.
“It doesn’t bother me,” said Omarr Stewart, who lives in the neighborhood. “I like to think of myself as a progressive.”
Others shared that liberal idea.
“To each his own,” said Michael Rosario, who works next door to the restaurant. — with Emilia Brock