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Cops vow to deliver scrutiny to ‘gay’ pizza

The Brooklyn Paper
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Police say they will investigate a Carroll Gardens pizzeria that features scantily clad male go-go dancers once a week.

The weekly “Fondle” party, which started in February at South Brooklyn Pizza on Court Street, didn’t get mentioned beyond the listings section of most newspapers. But on Sunday, the New York Times wrote about the gay-themed bacchanal, creating not only a maelstrom for the pizzeria, but renewing debate over whether tight-knit Carroll Gardens was truly welcoming to newcomers.

First, the maelstrom:

“That [Times article] was the first I heard of [Fondle] night,” Captain Kenneth Corey of the 76th Precinct, which covers Carroll Gardens, told members of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association on Monday night. “We’re going to determine the legality of it. If they’re outside of it, then we’re going to take action.”

A police source told The Brooklyn Paper that authorities would examine whether South Brooklyn Pizza violated cabaret license regulations.

The looming police threat evidently arose after the Times story revealed that a key detail about the “Fondle” party: it includes go-go dancers.

The article suggested that strippers are incompatible with the Old Gray Lady’s understanding of Carroll Gardens as an insular, old Italian neighborhood. The neighborhood, of course, is changing, and many of the newer residents don’t mind a gay go-go night.

“It doesn’t bother me,” said Omarr Stewart, who lives in the neighborhood. “I like to think of myself as a progressive.”

Others shared that liberal idea.

“To each his own,” said Michael Rosario, who works next door to the restaurant. — with Emilia Brock

Updated 5:12 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Pat from Bay Ridge says:
Ah yes, the "Cabaret" law... taking the fun out of New York's nightlife since the days of Giuliani. And a convenient cover that allows the city to harass bar owners for any other tiny infraction they happen to "see".
April 9, 2009, 10:11 am
Michele from CG says:
"It doesn't bother me" & "to each his own". The cops didn't know about it until they read the NY Times.
So what's the problem, exactly? People having a good time???
April 9, 2009, 4:12 pm
Pat from Bay Ridge says:
Yes, "people having a good time" is exactly what the problem is. The (upper) middle class that the city is so desperately trying to lure in (and pay taxes) doesn't like loud bars, music, smokers, and who else knows what's going on in their midst. Or so the thinking goes.
April 9, 2009, 4:40 pm
Eric from Park Slope says:
It's sad that today in NYC the cops are still looking for excuses to shut down gay venues. Who is this hurting? Someone should tell them it's 2009, not 1969...
April 10, 2009, 12:10 am
MCGOWAN IS A CANCER from CARROLL GARDENS says:
I really hope they finally put an end to the owner Jim McGowan and all his law breaking tactics with closing him down or heavy fines regarding his Fondle bar.....he did illegal renovations work in that place for the longest time.....he owns that other place called Cherry Tree on 4th Avenue and Bergen Street where he got nailed for an illegal hostel upstairs in addition to illegal renovations there with one patron getting stabbed in there as well. He presently is working on Sackett Street and got nailed for illegal renovations there as well. The guy is a cancer to Carroll Gardens also being labeled a Slum Lord by former tenants.
April 10, 2009, 3:38 pm
mike from Jackson Heights says:
Um, I think, maybe I'm wrong, but I think that we have much more pressing problems in NYC than a "go-go" night at a pizzeria. I think it's funny. Was anyone harmed? Was anyone forced to go against their will? Was any dancer forced to dance against his will? I mean, what's wrong with adding a little spice to one's pizza?
April 12, 2009, 4:59 pm
A O from BKLYN says:
It depends whats in there special sauce...
April 13, 2009, 9:34 am
tom from park slope says:
here we go again, the gays and the straights of carroll gardens, its pretty interesting that the people who are doing most of the complaining and speculation are the ones renting their apartments to the gays who pay great money both on rent and neighborhood services. and perhaps they should come to park slope south where 4 gay bars get along with all their neighbors without problems. and the BELLHOUSE on 7th street and 2nd ave in Gowanus has a gay dance every saturday and so far without incident, as for the CLOSENESS to the church crap, everyone should re think thant, how many gays has the church nutured/ get it the PRIEST/ ALTAR BOY/ STUDENT/thing. caroll garderns get over yourselves it would be better for the whole area,
TOMMY FLOWERS
April 13, 2009, 1:32 pm
TomTom from Park Slope says:
Tommy Flowers makes a good point! Are any of the go-go dancers priests or altar boys?
April 14, 2009, 7:22 am
Mike from Carroll Gardens, BKNY says:
I stopped at Fondle 1 night after work with my girlfriend and a mutual buddy who happens to be gay. The pizza was awesome! Everyone was friendly and we had a blast. 2009, gay men, NY, what is the issue here? Doesn't the NYPD have real issues to attend to?
April 14, 2009, 7:18 pm
TOM from PARK SLOPE says:
I JUST WANT TO THROW THIS OUT TO ALLYOU BROOKLYN EATERS. I WAS GIVEN A GIFT CERTIFICATE FOR $150.00 FOR A RESTAURANT IN PARK SLOPE CALLED COCOTTE/ COCOTTE CLOSED BEFORE I HAD A CHANCE TO USE IT. THE OWNERS OF COCCOTE ALSO OWN LOU LOUS ON DEKALB AVENUE,
I HAVE AKSED THEM MANY TIMES TO HONOR THE GIFT CERTIFCATE FROM COCOTTE AND PROVIDE THE SAME SERVICE. SEEING THAT THEY TOOK (AT THIS POINT STOLE )MY FRIENDS $150.00.I HAVE GOTTEN NO RESPONSE FROM THEM AT ALL.
WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD THEY HONOR THE GIFT CERTIFICATE AND PROVIDE THE SERVICE THEY WOULD HAVE HAD TO AT COCOTTE????????
TOMMY FLOWERS
April 15, 2009, 8:12 am
Freddy from Manhattan says:
TOMMY FLOWERS it would depend on how big Cocotte is.
April 18, 2009, 3:48 am
Jose from Carroll Garden says:
This is just crazy. The area is chainging for the better but I think we forget where it came from. I've lived here for 10 years and like the area changing for the better. People think that we need to judge but we should embrace the change for the better. I may not understand the change but I know that the stores are better, the area is no longer a place to be scared and it feels right to allow everyone the chance to express themselves. Things are changing and I can fight it or I can learn to udnerstand. I would rahter understand and support.
April 21, 2009, 4:34 pm
CARMINE from CAROLLGRADEN says:
THE OLD TIMERS ARE TURNNING OVER IN THERE GRAVES IF THEY NEW WATH WAS GOING ON IN CARROLL GRADEN. THE PLACE WAS ABOUT ROUGH & CARZY GUYS KNOWN ITS TO EACH HIS OWN
June 15, 2009, 2:37 pm

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