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No ‘Kemistry’ — Slope group votes no on club’s liquor license • Brooklyn Paper

No ‘Kemistry’ — Slope group votes no on club’s liquor license

Harold Gruber and other neighbors of the proposed Kemistry Lounge are trying to keep the venue from staying open after midnight.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

A proposed nightclub called Kemistry Lounge features some bad elements, according to a civic group representing Brownstone Brooklyn.

A Community Board 6 committee voted unanimously on Monday to reject a liquor license request for a sprawling Flatbush Avenue venue near the soon-to-open Barclays Center after neighbors complained it would bring noise and nuisance to the community.

The proposed live music venue — which wants to offer bottle service and dancing — would keep nearby residents awake at all hours and bombard a neighborhood that’s already oversaturated with boozy nightlife establishments, committee members said.

“People in the area feel more and more put upon — there’s been a cumulative element when it comes to liquor license applications,” said CB6’s Gary Reilly.

Neighbors started fighting the venue’s liquor license bid last month, criticizing the “Vegas-style” club for allegedly targeting not-from-the-neighborhood hoops fans and advertising itself as a “sexy” bar on a since-removed Facebook page that featured photos of scantily clad ladies.

But Kemistry Lounge representatives say their venue won’t be a burden on anyone, promising it will serve food along with drinks, approach its neighbors with respect, and use a controversial doorway on a mostly residential block of Prospect Place only during emergencies.

“The community has relevant concerns and they will be addressed,” said Peter Flores, a spokesman for the bar.

Kemistry Lounge is slated to accommodate 250 revelers in a grocery store-sized space until 3 am on Saturdays, 2 am on Fridays, 1 am on Thursdays, and 11 pm on all other nights — but neighbors say they want the venue to agree to close no later than midnight.

Kemistry Lounge owner James Brown says a midnight last call is not feasible on weekends, but neighbors are pushing for further negotiations.

“We’re looking for better sound proofing and earlier hours,” said neighbor Harold Gruber. “People are going to be spilling out of there.”

The 12—0 vote by CB6’s public safety, permits, and licenses committee is merely advisory — the State Liquor Authority will make the final decision on whether or not Kemistry Lounge can serve booze.

And some club neighbors hope that officials will heed their request.

“The community has spoken,” said Kemistry critic Noel Wiggins. “And we don’t want this.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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