The owner of Park Slope’s controversial Prime 6 bar is bowing to the demands of lawyered-up neighbors who believe the new watering hole will be a big problem when it finally opens in May.
Akiva Ofshtein and his future neighbors have been warring over his nightspot — which faces both Flatbush and Sixth avenues — for months, but now Ofshtein’s agreed to tone things down even before he opens his doors.
The bar’s owner claims he’ll pull his planned bottle service — a popular practice at nightclubs where customers get full bottles of booze at their table rather than individual drinks — that he’ll close the backyard by 11 pm on weekdays and at midnight on weekends, and that he’ll ban music outside.
“I can’t have the community mad at me,” Ofshtein said. “It’s a common-sense business practice.”
Neighbors, some of whom have been represented by attorney Harry Lipman — who lives near Prime 6 and is working pro-bono — for about a month, celebrated Ofshtein’s concessions, and his decision to open up about his plans.
“This all started with a lot of mystery,” said Steve Ettlinger, who lives next door to Prime 6. “Now we have some questions answered.”
But some still remain, as residents continue to charge that Ofshtein has never given them an adequate picture as to what Prime 6 will be.
At first, the nightspot was advertised as a sports bar with live music that would attract throngs of Nets fans from the new Barclays Center.
According to his application with the State Liquor Authority Ofshtein, said there would be large television screens “so Nets games can be watched.” Four bouncers would be hired to handle rowdy customers, he indicated.
Fearing clogged streets, rowdy crowds and blaring music that will keep them up all night, dozens of concerned neighbors stormed a February Community Board 6 meeting to protest the bar’s liquor license, only to find it had already been granted — with no community input.
Park Slope residents singled out Prime 6 in part because it stood as a symbol of their failed bid to defeat the Atlantic Yards mega-project,
but as protestors prepared an offensive, Ofshtein changed his business plan — he’s now promising that Prime 6 will not be a sports bar, but a restaurant that will serve “meats and vegetables-based dishes” until 4 am and offer kids brunch deals on weekends.
Ofshtein also agreed to meet with community leaders, the North Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District and a lawyer who represents angry neighbors on nearby St. Marks Avenue. He also set up a telephone line for complaints.
“He has gone above and beyond what any restaurateur in New York City would do,” said Sharon Davidson of the North Flatbush Avenue BID, who mediated Ofshtein’s pow-wows with the community. “I hope they appreciate it.”