How ‘Bazaar’! Old Polish club will be new home to late-night hipster flea market

Gowanus bazaar: The organizer of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar plans to bring his late night flea market to the banks of the Gowanus Canal this summer. Past events in Williamsburg looked like the one pictured above.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

This empty nest is about to be filled.

A beloved-but-shuttered Greenpoint event space will host the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, a popular late-night flea market that has been without a home since losing its original venue last year — and community members say the local entertainment hubs are a match made in heaven.

“The Polonaise is a staple of the neighborhood, and to see it empty for all these years has been pretty sad,” said Denae Padeco. “To have the Brooklyn Night Bazaar there I think would be a great transition.”

Greenpoint Avenue’s multi-level Polonaise Terrace for decades served the local Polish community as a party venue, hosting and catering large weddings and birthday parties in its four decadent reception halls until it closed in 2013.

But the once-lively hall has become a seedy hangout for troublemakers after sitting empty for years, says one neighbor, making the need to fill it with activity more urgent than ever.

“It’s a blighted spot that I have to look at day after day,” said Peter Kirschhausen, who owns several buildings across from the Polonaise and has seen riffraff using drugs in the venue’s doorway. “It’s imperative we fill this space with a dynamic yet responsibly-run operation.”

The owners of the sprawling nocturnal bazaar — which offers a smorgasbord of local beer and food alongside rock concerts and arcade games — had to vacate their original Banker Street digs after getting priced out and replaced by a BMW dealership.

And neighbors say the market operators are the perfect candidates to restore good, clean fun to the abandoned space — the bazaar’s premiere Banker Street hub was a huge hit with the community, providing a one-stop-shop for local eats, drinks, and entertainment.

Community Board 1 on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the project’s request for a liquor license — only one of the 31 gathered members voted against the application — but the State Liquor Authority will ultimately decide whether the bazaar can sling booze.

Founder Belvy Klein has assured community members the red-eye operation — which would be open from 6 pm to 1 am on weekdays and from 11 am to 1 am on weekends — comes in peace, pledging to keep the noise down with any measures necessary. Security guards will curb rowdy behavior on the street, while organizers may sound-proof the venue to keep the late-night fun locked in.

If all goes according to plan, the huge festival-style bazaar will spread across the venue’s three tiers to hold a restaurant, mini golf, private karaoke rooms, stages for music acts, and a vending room for 50 local craftsmen to sell their wares.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at ahobbs@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8312.

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