Plans for McCarren Park House come to light at community board meeting

A rendering of the planned McCarren Park House.
Rendering via KTISMAstudio

At a community board meeting Tuesday night, more details emerged about the opening of a restaurant at a former comfort station in the middle of Williamsburg’s McCarren Park.

The planned venue, to be called McCarren Park House (with an address of 855 Lorimer St.), was first announced in January 2020. It will be operated by the team of Aaron Broudo and Belvy Klein, who were awarded the business by the Parks Department. They formerly ran Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Night Bazaar venue, and currently operate both the Jacob Riis Park and Rockaway Beach boardwalk concessions (where their presence caused some controversy).

Appearing in front of Community Board 1’s SLA Review Committee on July 27, where the duo was recommended for a liquor license, additional details surfaced. They will serve coffee in the mornings, from 8 am until 11 am, which is when the restaurant opens. It will close at 11 pm on weekdays and 1 am on weekends, which is when the park itself closes.

Rendering via KTISMAstudio

Broudo and Klein also announced that the space will be fully electric, meaning no gas will be used for the cooking, and will have no live music. They described their desire for the space to be family-friendly, and plan to have “Mommy and Me” yoga sessions in the morning, install baby changing stations and add additional public bathrooms.

The restaurant will help foot the bill for the $1.2 million renovation, according to Brooklyn Paper. Before the pandemic, the venue was scheduled to open in spring 2021.

No new opening target date, nor any details of what will be on the menu, were revealed at the virtual meeting.

Residents and local advocates who spoke at the meeting were generally in favor of the project, although there were some concerns over amplified music (it was suggested to not have it in order to not disturb other park-goers).

“I’m 100 percent all for this and think it would add a lot of value to the neighborhood,” said Jenna Dosch, a community member with a six-year-old child who lives across the street from the park.

Rendering via KTISMAstudio

Some of the committee members had concerns about the need for a drinking establishment here, and wondered aloud about the loss of public space that will result. Committee chair Thomas J. Burrows suggested that the operators commit to diversity hiring, noting that there were many longtime local residents who were in need of employment.

Others felt confident that, despite some apprehension, they were in good hands with Broudo and Klein. “These are local guys and have proven they know how to run a business,” said Elaine Brodsky of the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

This story first appeared on Brownstoner.