Neighbor: W’burg do-it-yourself center closed after failing to come up with $1.5-million

‘Goods’ news as 3rd Ward founders get into food
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

A large Williamsburg center for artists and do-it-yourselfers abruptly closed on Wednesday, a restaurant owner who shares space in the complex’s industrial building said.

The closure of Third Ward, confirmed by Fitzcarraldo owner Henry Rich, came on the final day of a massive fund-raising campaign that raised $375,000 dollars in investment pledges for the citizen builder hub, far short of a $1.5-million goal.

The Third Ward space on Morgan Avenue is open but the organization’s educational arm has canceled all classes and people who rent work space there are packing up, Rich said.

The craft corporation’s sudden demise comes in the midst of major expansion. In the past year, the self-described makers paradise opened a branch in Philadelphia, and announced plans to start a food industry incubator in Crown Heights.

Third Ward’s fund-raiser web site outlines several reasons the company has been struggling, including falling revenues at its main location in industrial Williamsburg, unexpected expenses at its new Philadelphia outpost, and the cost of starting the culinary project.

Third Ward did not return calls for comment.

Fitzcarraldo, opened this summer in the same building and will stay open, Rich said, adding that he does not foresee a loss of business because the restaurant has a separate entrance.

“We plan is to stay open and serve the neighborhood,” said Rich. “We will probably make less food to go, but that’s the only change.”

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Last one out turn off the lights: The 2009 Last Supper food drive at Third Ward was festive, but an online fund-raiser this week failed to raise $1.5-million the center needed and management has apparently pulled the plug.