From nightclub to day-care: Controversial W’burg venue in flux

W’burg residents decry planned club
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

It could be a nightclub, a day-care, or an organic restaurant — but no matter what a Manhattan nightlife impresario opens in his Williamsburg building, he won’t be serving booze anytime soon, state officials say.

Club owner Alexander Dimitrov has floated a number of ideas for a N. First Street space — a discotheque, a club for teenaged partiers, and a locavore restaurant with a rooftop garden, among them — but the State Liquor Authority won’t let him serve alcohol until he cleans up an embattled Lower East Side venue.

State inspectors slapped Dimitrov’s Manhattan bar Mehanata with several violations after staff allegedly failed to supervise revelers and allowed disorderly behavior last year.

Dimitrov tried to get an additional license for the bar in January, but the state rejected his request two months later citing disciplinary problems — and an agency spokesman said the pending charges won’t help him if and when he files an application for his Williamsburg building.

The party hall owner initially wanted to open a Brooklyn club called Williamsburg Manor. But he retreated from the original concept last month after neighbors lashed out against the plan and Community Board 1 voted against his request for a liquor license application.

Dimitrov instead said he would open a restaurant that serves gourmet pizza, pasta, and raw foods with a rooftop vegetable garden.

But last week, he told the Daily News he was contemplating turning the space into an alcohol-free all-ages dance club, with “a thousand kids there to go crazy all night long.”

However he now says he has already soured on that idea.

“I’m getting to old for that stuff,” he told The Brooklyn Paper. “I just said it’s absolutely legal to do a teenage nightclub. But I’m not going to do it. Most likely not.”

Now he says he will lease out the space — potentially to a child-care center.

“My first option is to rent it out,” he said. “The only people who have approached me so far is a day-care center. I don’t care what they rent it for, as long as I can cover my losses and move on.”

Neighbors worry that Dimitrov could change his plans on a whim — and fear he doesn’t have their best interests at heart when considering possible uses for the space.

“His antagonistic, antisocial behavior and history of misrepresenting his intentions show a complete disdain for the community in which he wishes to do business,” said Williamsburg resident Jann Schwarz. “He has managed to alienate a very diverse group of neighbors across all walks of life who are united in stopping his exploitative, cynical business from doing damage to a quiet, inclusive and family-friendly part of Williamsburg.”

Reach reporter Aaron Short at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2547.