Downtown’s dining room closed as city rips up Borough Hall Plaza

Borough hole: Downtown dwellers will have to find somewhere new to eat their lunch, because Borough Hall Plaza is a mess.
Community News Group / Ruth Brown

Brooklyn’s Stoop is closed for lunch.

The parks department has reduced Borough Hall Plaza to a pile of rubble after ripping up the crumbling tiles that have long plagued visitors to the public square, closing Downtown’s most popular day-time dining area in the process.

But the Borough President said the local workers who congregate on and around the landmarked steps to his office will just have to find somewhere else to eat their gyros, because fixing the dangerous paving is more important.

“I made it a priority on day one of my administration to address this safety hazard, and the sound of jackhammers going to work on long-needed renovations is music to my ears,” said the Beep, who suggested diners enjoy their lunch further down the street in Cadman Plaza or on the other side of Boerum Place in Willoughby Square.

The city is replacing the 28-year-old broken bluestone tiles with sturdier granite versions as part of a $12-million makeover of the area officially known as Columbus Park, which is bounded by Joralemon, Court, Johnson, and Adams streets and Cadman Plaza West. The shabby stone slabs have been tripping up Brooklynites for years, including a 71-year-old woman who fractured her hip in 2010 after catching her toe on one of the cracks.

Contractors literally broke ground on the renovations this month, but the entire project won’t be completed until September 2016. A Parks spokeswoman said she did not know when the area around the steps would re-open to the lunch crowd.

When the plaza doesn’t have a giant hole in the middle of it, the Court-Livingston-Schemerhorn Business Improvement District keeps it furnished with tables and chairs during daylight hours. The park is also variously home to a thrice-weekly greenmarket, press conferences for the Borough President, protests, film shoots, a Christmas market, the Brooklyn Book Festival, and the borough’s second-tallest menorah.

Reach reporter Eric Faynberg at (718) 260–4587 or by e-mail at efaynberg@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @ericfaynberg.
Out of the blue: The city is ripping up Borough Hall’s dangerous bluestone tiles.
Community News Group / Eric Faynberg

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