The liquor gods frown on Athena

The Brooklyn Paper
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Community Board 6 voted unanimously on Wednesday night to reject a liquor license bid for Athena restaurant after neighbors of the Cobble Hill eatery claimed that the owner is hosting booming parties and serving booze without a valid permit.

“The way they’re operating is not kosher,” said board member Gary Reilly, citing an attempt by Athena owner Spiro Hiotis to use a liquor license belonging to the prior restaurant at the Smith Street site. “We felt they were taking shortcuts.”

But Hiotis — who runs Athena restaurants in Bay Ridge and Park Slope — says the community board unfairly targeted him even though he installed noise barriers in walls, fired DJs and handed out his cellphone number to concerned neighbors.

“What else can I do?” he said. “I am so fed up with this neighborho­od.”

He admitted that he was using the license belonging to the previous restaurant, but claimed that it was legit because he was partial owner of the now-defunct Mexican joint.

For their part, neighbors claim that Hiotis rents the always-empty restaurant to a subcontractor at night for unlicensed, booze-soaked parties that boom into the wee hours, keeping neighbors awake.

“It’s preposterous — they’re winging it,” said Glenn Kelly of Community Board 6, who lives nearby. “What’s next?”

Hiotis might have an answer: “I’m probably gonna have to shut down,” he said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

scrub says:
this is the worst neihgborhood in BK
sure it is pretty....
but completely whitewashed and filled witrh some of the biggest douches ever!!
Dec. 19, 2011, 12:43 pm
james from cobble hill says:
1) Too bad. We order delivery from this restaurant a few times a month because their food is so good.

2) Really? Smith Street is such a quiet upscale family oriented scene! I can't believe young people go to bars and restaurants there. Getting rid of one bar/restaurant should really bring Smith Street back to earth.

3) Yes, I'm being faceitious
Dec. 21, 2011, 1:05 pm
NA from Boerum Hill says:
I lived on top of this restaurant and had to move out because of this place. Every weekend night (and often on Thursdays as well) I could hear music blasting through my apartment (and I lived on the 3rd floor)....the music wouldn't stop until at least 4am. In addition to that, everyone outside smoking were always so loud and drunk that it sounded like they were in my bedroom (not to mention that I am almost positive that the majority of them are under 21). The owner is a total jerk...he didn't care at all and then tried to bribe me with free drinks - - sorry but I would rather be able to sleep than have a free drink with a bunch of loser frat guys. Don't think anyone will miss this place...the food can't be that good because it was always empty.
Dec. 21, 2011, 1:59 pm

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