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Freddy’s returns — but it’ll be miles from the Barclays Center • Brooklyn Paper

Freddy’s returns — but it’ll be miles from the Barclays Center

Freddy's Bar was always at the center of the anti-Atlantic Yards movement.
The Brooklyn Paper / Andy Campbell

Meet the new Freddy’s — not exactly the same as the old Freddy’s.

One of Brooklyn’s most-beloved bars — and the former hub of opposition to the Atlantic Yards project that was torn down because it stood on the site of the future Barclays Center — will re-open on Fifth Avenue between 17th and 18th streets, far from the beer-drinking hordes that will someday attend basketball games at the arena.

And owner Frank Yost, who helped turn his bar into a primary character in the fight against the project, won’t be making the move.

“[He] decided to back out of his commitment to assist in financing the new bar, and in the process seriously threatened the dream of reopening,” said longtime manager Donald O’Finn, who gathered financing from two former bartenders.

“The inmates now run the asylum,” he added.

The Prohibition-era bar’s previous location at Dean Street and Sixth Avenue has now been demolished by developer Bruce Ratner, whose Barclays Center is supposed to open in late 2012.

Owner Frank Yost is out of Freddy's Bar's new location in the South Slope.
The Brooklyn Papers / Rebecca Cetta

Earlier this year, Freddy’s management bowed to the inevitable and accepted a buyout from Ratner to quietly close — rather than allow its patrons to literally chain themselves to the bar to protest the impending demolishion.

Before that, the watering hole had served as the ideal “war room” for opposition to the mega-development planned for Prospect Heights.

After the bar’s closing in April, O’Finn had planned on reopening at Fourth Avenue and Union Street, but that deal fell through.

Now, if all goes as planned, the bar will reopen with the familiar dive-bar trappings of Freddy’s, including the “chains of justice.” The bar will also continue to feature O’Finn’s trippy video montages running round the clock, though there will be “extensive remodeling to flavor the space ‘Freddy’s,’ ” O’Finn added.

Just don’t bank on Brooklyn Lager — whose brewer, Steve Hindy, endorsed the Barclays Center — to be on tap at the new location.

At one point, patrons such as Alec Betterly (left) and Jamie Munro vowed to chain themselves to the bar.
The Brooklyn Paper / Stephen Brown

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