Brooklyn restaurant and bar owners form alliance

They love the nightlife: Restaurant, bar owners form advocacy group

The Brooklyn Paper
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They’re lowering the bar to raise the bar.

Borough President Adams will chair a new alliance of restaurant and bar owners that aims to help eateries and nightlife venues obtain liquor licenses and building permits more easily and avoid spats with neighbors. The Brooklyn Nightlife and Restaurant Coalition will grease the wheels of community consultation by installing its members on community boards and encouraging them to communicate more proactively with residents, said its organizer.

“Our industry is plagued with stories of conflict, confusion, and miscommunication, and we want to change that into a narrative of cooperation,” said coalition head Dave Rosen, who is the owner of Williamsburg bar the Woods, which previously had to scrap its plans to expand its backyard garden after neighbors complained about late-night noise.

The coalition — whose members include concert promoter Jake Rosenthal, Jamie Wiseman of Williamsburg dance club Output, and Vanessa Rimando from Roberta’s Pizzeria in Bushwick — aims to replicate Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants, which a group of Williamsburg and Greenpoint establishments started a few years ago. The over-arching board, helmed by Adams — who ultimately appoints all community board members — will help form smaller, similar groups in neighborhoods such as Sunset Park, Park Slope, and Bay Ridge, which can better respond to each community’s unique demands, said Rosen.

“There are different issues in each neighborhoods, so we need to take a hyper-local approach,” he said.

The alliance also aims to improve relations between the hospitality industry and the city agencies they must appease to get their licenses and permits, and which routinely ticket small businesses for health code and other minor infractions, said Adams.

“We cannot continue the culture of taxation through citation and adversary relationships with city government,” said Adams, who launched the coalition at Borough Hall on Wednesday. “We want to find ways to create a symbiotic relationsh­ip.”

Adams said more bars and eateries will mean more jobs for Brooklynites and more tourists visiting the borough.

One member of Community Board 1, which serves Williamsburg and Greenpoint, welcomed the news, saying it may help stop knee-jerk reactions to new or expanded venues.

“What usually happens is the signs go up on the doors and then we all react without any information,” said Rob Solano, who is a member of Community Board 1’s liquor license review committee. “Any communication we can get beforehand would be a huge help.”

But some locals say they fear the coalition’s members will just infiltrate community boards and meetings to push their own agenda.

“They are just trying to take over the community boards so they can do what they want to do,” said Sunny Chapman, a member of the Fillmore Place Historic District Association, which has spent the past couple of years adamantly opposing new bars in Williamsburg. “If they actually wanted to improve communication, they would talk to residents and actually listen to our concerns.”

Community Board members are volunteers appointed by the Borough President and council members. They are largely toothless, but field community complaints, review proposals, and make recommendations and requests to city agencies on issues such as land use and sanitation.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

MJ from Bay Ridge says:
what a dis-service the Borough president Adam is doing to communities via implanting lobbying agents into community boards. Community board members should have no special interest other than the best interest of the community.
May 29, 2015, 6:20 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
Make it easier to receieve a liquor license? Now that's putting distribution of the most dangerous drug (alcohol) before the public health and community safety.
May 29, 2015, 8:26 am
George from Clinton Hill says:
Adams like Marty Markowitz all he is doing is ribbon cutting....... the city should closed down his office what a waste of tax payers money!
May 29, 2015, 9:42 am
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
MJ -- Your comment was meant to be funny/ironic, right?
May 29, 2015, 9:56 am
Northside Ned from Greenpoint says:
Good. Commerce over lunatic busybodies.
May 29, 2015, 10:09 am
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
Seriously, Northside Ned. All I ever see emerge from my community board are absurd NIMBYism decisions to protect their own personal property values and maintain the status quo for their own person convenience.

For example, parking over mass transit because 1/2 the board would never be caught dead on a bus and vast majority of the community that doesn't own a car (but pay taxes and patronizes business all the same) don't count in their out-of-touch heads. Or... Oh, I don't go to bars, so i don't see any value to the community. etc. etc. etc.
May 29, 2015, 10:36 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Sunny Chapman is an old bat, but I hope she's right! May her worst fears come to pass so that we can all have a better Brooklyn. She can head off to Montauk of wherever she summers these days.
May 29, 2015, 10:45 am
Sunny Chapman from Williamsburg says:
I AM old, and have lived in Williamsburg longer than this Mike brodude who stalks me online has been alive. Whatever.

The point really is that people who want to go out drinking until 4am are actually the minority in Brooklyn. Most Brooklyn residents are working people and/or families with children who are finding that the quality of life is being seriously disrupted by late noise noise around these bars. Eric Adams is throwing the majority of his constituents under the bus by chairing this group.

And the SLA doesn't even follow their own guideline that there should be no more than 3 on-premise liquor licenses within any given 500 foot area. One new license in a new location was granted a license even though there were already 18 on-premise licenses in the 500 square foot area.

We are not against bars or fun, we are against over saturation that makes residential communities unlivable. All we want to see is the SLA and CB's follow the SLA guidelines and maintain livable and vibrant communities for ALL Brooklyn residents.
May 29, 2015, 1:18 pm
TOM from Brooklyn says:
I do hope if the Boro Prez appoints any of these "advocates" to Community Boards that they be open about it to their fellow-members, and recuse themselves from voting on items in which they have a direct "interest".
Same for registered lobbyists.
May 29, 2015, 5:33 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
More trusts-funds than liquor licenses, oh my.
May 29, 2015, 9:53 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
Protecting our property interests by opposing liquor licenses? Yes. NIMBY? Yes, especially when its near our schools, churches or libraries. Too many bars serving hard liquor? Yes. Should restaurants usually get liquor licenses? Sure. Should commerce be reasonably regulated as not to be destructive of other interests, like public safety or children? Yes. As per the CDC, what drug kills the most? Alcohol.
May 29, 2015, 10:08 pm
Tom from Williamsburg says:
Interesting to note that the terribly struggling group of "hospitality" industry folk are meeting with the BP with at least two attorneys that are well versed in SLA law and well paid. Meanwhile the Community Board committees charged with assuring that the public is served, that the additional liquor licenses are in the public interest are all volunteers with no technical support from the BPs office. And the poor working class people who have to try and sleep through the late night bacchanals outdoors in close proximity to residences near such places as Roberta's need to be at their minimum wage paying jobs during the day and can't get to a meeting with the BP to talk about how their quality of life is being affected by bar owners who drive home to their quiet suburban homes in NJ.
May 30, 2015, 9:35 am
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
Well, Tom, you'd think after being professional busybodies who serve on the community boards for an average of a thousand years.... perhaps the community board members could develop some of this expertise for themselves. Or, ya know, get members of the community with that expertise to either serve on the board (instead) or provide advice/services.

However, that's a lot harder when the Community Boards have a reputation of being whiny nay-sayers. Doesn't really instill a lot of confidence.
May 30, 2015, 10:34 am
Helen from Greenpoint says:
All it takes is one establishment on the block that has backyard seating, and there goes the peace and quiet for a dozen buildings on the block. Buildings full of non-tourists, non-bar hoppers that have to listen to the din of munchers and drunkards at all hours. There's a reason there weren't any backyard dining areas before recent times.
The BP should put his constituents ahead of tourism $ and alcohol tourism $. Shameless.
May 30, 2015, 10:38 am
donna from greenpoint says:
Ned is a fool. People LIVE in these areas. There are enough bars. Brooklyn is becoming a tourist attraction at the expense of quality of life! Damn right I'm going to protect my interest. I am a long time resident. Brooklyn is not a gold rush town! As much as some people want it to be.Enough is enough. I agree with Tom and Sunny.
May 30, 2015, 11:07 am
Iago from Southside says:
May 30, 2015, 11:25 am
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
Why do I suspect most (all?) of these whiners are self-delusional hypocrites? I'm sure all of the small businesses and city services they regularly rail against in their neighborhoods are just the types of places/things they enjoy in other areas of the city...
May 30, 2015, 11:50 am
Kime from East Williamsburg says:
Why do I suspect that the YIMBYs on this thread of comments are simply one bitter and jealous fool pretending to be multiple people?
May 30, 2015, 1:25 pm
Northside Ned from Greenpoint says:
Why do you freaks even live in the city? Go save yourself some cash and move to some dusty tank town where the streets are empty by 8 and you can watch TV in silence.
May 30, 2015, 3:51 pm
Victor from Williamsburg says:
No thanks. Brooklyn is the best place on earth why should I leave for you. Defend Brooklyn from hipster swine and yuppie scum. These new people just don't know how to have fun besides getting drunk and high with everything. They want to party every night of the week move to Manhattan. Better even move to New Orleans.
May 30, 2015, 4:43 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
There seems to be an impression that community boards should consist of people who live in the neighborhood and have no business "interest" in the hood. And that to have an "interest" in the neighborhood is a "conflict of interest." This is nimby poppycock. The CB is precisely designed to have members who only have business interests in the neighborhood. It is not a "representative" body and its members are not elected. The CB is a sounding board for officials who are elected -- the BP and the councilman -- and they appoint whomever they please, as well they should. Now y'all skooch on outa here ... go on skeet.
May 30, 2015, 4:53 pm
Northside Ned from Greenpoint says:
Oh they days of yore when Victor and his teetotaling buddies made their own fun stealing hubcaps and the like.

As always not real hard to figure out what's going on here. Such civic minded heros these comunity board types.
May 30, 2015, 7:22 pm
100 Blacks In Nightlife Enforcement from Fort Greene says:
So is Eric Adams the token black in this picture or what? I can't tell ethnicity of a couple of the swarthy dudes in back... Telling statement on the access of capital to black entrepenreurs or ???
May 30, 2015, 9:19 pm
Sheez says:
BP Adams is just carrying on the rich tradition of Democrat borough presidents.
Marty set the bar pretty high for being a sell out. Adams is perfecting the more libertarian pursuits like nightlife and bar culture for gentrifying neighborhoods.
May 30, 2015, 10:27 pm
Tukatz from Williamsburg says:
Seems that the BP believes in the trickle-down from endless supply of drunk tourists to sub-minimum wage food service jobs for poor Brooklynites...
May 31, 2015, 12:52 am
Johnny Dee from Bay Ridge says:
I drink in my basement.
The price is right and I;m only 12 years old
May 31, 2015, 9:15 pm
Laura Hofmann from Greenpoint says:
Well, this asinine plan explains why we almost ended up with a rave happening at an extremely contaminated Superfund site. Also, I'd like to know what makes a business more important than a community. Communities are not only about business. There should be balance.
Dec. 9, 2015, 8:16 pm

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