Hung out to dry: CB1 rejects liquor license for ‘pop-up’ club Mirage

Police catch massive Williamsburg club selling booze with no license
Community News Group / Lauren Gill

They’ll have to fight for their right to party.

The organizers of Williamsburg’s massive outdoor nightclub the Brooklyn Mirage have screwed up one too many times — serving booze without a permit and hosting discos in dangerous venues — say members of Community Board 1, who voted to reject the venue’s application for a liquor license on Tuesday night.

“It just seems like they’re interested in making money but not really conscientious of the community,” said Community Board 1 member Artineh Havan. “They did admit to the mistakes they made but there were too many of them. One mistake is okay, but not a few.”

Board members voted 39–3 with two abstentions to recommend against a license for the venue, which is open for the warm months inside an industrial park between Stewart and Gardner avenues.

The board’s vote is only advisory, and the city’s State Liquor Authority could still give the 6,000-person club a license, though a spokesman from the agency previously said that it won’t soon forget the fact that cops busted the bar selling hooch illegally on its opening night on May 21.

And residents say they still hadn’t forgotten last Halloween, when City Fox attempted to hold a dance party in the old NuHart Plastic factory — a federal Superfund cleanup site — before firefighters pulled the plug.

New York’s Bravest crashed the party again on May 26, closing the Mirage because it was sporting combustible materials, locked exits, and too few staff to help in case of a fire, the department said.

The city shut the venue entirely the next day and kept it closed for a week, until the club fixed the issues.

City Fox reps reportedly told the residents at the meeting that they have learned from their mistakes and are giving back to the neighborhood by providing jobs and community events. But locals said they had a hard time taking their word for it.

“They said they had reformed but they didn’t look like they were even believable,” said board member Jan Peterson. “They’re just one more big thing that’s trying to come in and take from the community.”

The state authority already rejected City Fox’s application for temporary liquor permits for the site back in May 13 — which is what it secured for the pop-up club’s 2015 edition — on the grounds that it isn’t all that temporary, admitting it shouldn’t have issued them last year either.

City Fox had already sought Community Board 1’s blessing for a regular license on May 11, but members reportedly told them their pitch was too brief for such a massive venue, and to come back this month with more details.

They sure got their wish — attendees say 10 guys showed up at Tuesday’s meeting and gave an hour-long presentation — but it still wasn’t enough to win over the panel.

Now they will have to make their case to the state authority. A spokesman said it received a license application for the venue on June 6, but hasn’t scheduled a hearing yet.

In the meantime, the club will refund 30 percent of ticket costs to booze-free shows, according to its Facebook page.

City Fox did not return a request for comment.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill