Garden moans: Greenwood Heights fears new beer garden

Ted Mann says his South Slope beer garden will be massive and inviting
Photo by Bess Adler

Neighbors of a soon-to-open Greenwood Heights beer garden have long-brewing fears about the outdoor drinking destination — mainly because getting in touch with the venue’s owners is harder than getting the attention of a busy bartender during happy hour, critics say.

Greenwood Park will soon begin serving brews under the stars on 19th Street and Seventh Avenue — but its operators have not scheduled any meetings with the civic group that can play an advisory role in liquor license applications.

Community Board 7 district manager Jeremy Laufer says the owners of Greenwood Park haven’t reached out to his group to discuss permits for drinking, live music, and dancing, and when the civic watchdogs tried to contact the owners to check the plans, they got no response.

The group’s stance on the bar won’t make or break Greenwood Park’s chances at a liquor license — the State Liquor Authority makes the final ruling, and prospective bar owners are not required to gain community board approval or even appear before a neighborhood committee. But the perceived lack of responsiveness has raised warning flags for some neighbors, who worry the nightlife operators will lure a rowdy crowd, then go missing when it comes time to deal with the aftermath.

“There’s going to be a whole bunch of drunk guys walking down the street — we’re worried about noise and safety,” said neighbor Jerry Simon. “Why not make yourself available and have a discussion about it?”

Some bar critics are hoping to force that discussion by storming an upcoming civic meeting to protest the 700-seat beer garden and outdoor concert hall, which is slated to feature a bandshell for music, a bonfire, and 40 beers on draft.

Greenwood Park co-owner Ted Mann — who happens to be the son of gun-slinging power-rocker Ted Nugent — didn’t respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment.

His business partner Michael Esposito said the venue should open in a month.

“We’re just taking care of a couple more things,” Esposito said.

Mann is no newcomer to dining and nightlife — he owns the popular neighborhood spots Cubana Social in Williamsburg, No Name Bar in Greenpoint, and Gold Coast deli in Bay Ridge.

Considering his track record, Greenwoodsmen are hoping for the best.

“I’ve heard some concerns — but I’ve also heard some positive things, too,” Laufer said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at [email protected] or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

This file photo shows the site of a soon-to-open beer garden in Greenwood Heights.
Photo by Bess Adler