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‘War on Brunch’ vote coming - Brooklyn Paper

‘War on Brunch’ vote coming

The war on brunch may soon come to an end, allowing brunchers to nurse their hangovers in the sun a few hours earlier without fear of repercussions.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

There may soon be an armistice in the War on Brunch.

A law that bans wobbly Brooklynites from nursing their hangovers on city sidewalks before noon on Sunday would be obliterated if a bill scheduled to go before the council next month is passed.

Until then, restaurants that dare to serve patrons on sidewalks before high-noon on the day of rest risk getting ticketed for the illegal action, a fact that a Williamsburg councilman says needs to be changed.

“It’s totally common sense,” said Steve Levin. “I’m not even sure why it’s a law,”

That’s why Levin is co-sponsoring the bill to nix the obscure law that’s been on the books since at least the 1970s, but only became relevant when restaurants in Williasmburg began being hit by the city for breaking it.

“It wasn’t a big deal until people started getting fined,” Levin said.

In fact, 9t was all quiet on the Brooklyn front until last year, when Community Board 1 member Tom Burrows began encouraging the city to crack down on pre-noon brunch scofflaws.

Burrows said having Sunday brunchers on the sidewalk before noon prevented worshippers from getting to church.

That prompted cops to ticket two restaurants forcing them to stop serving brunch outside until the sun was directly overhead.

“We had no choice,” said Kathy Mecham, who owns Five Leaves restaurant on Bedford Avenue at Lorimer Street. “Once you get the fine, if you don’t comply, they start looking for other things.”

As soon as the law is changed, though, Mecham says she’ll go back to putting the tables out at 8 am.

“It’s not like we have people out there at 3 am making noise,” she said. “These are people with strollers who want to enjoy the nice weather before the crowds come out.”

Even leaders of local churches said the old law was lame.

said she thought the reasoning that pre-noon outdoor brunchers kept worshippers from church was lame.

“We love churching so much, the allure of brunch does not stop us,” said Pastor Ann Kansfield of the Greenpoint Reformed Church. “Brunching does not stop churching.”

Burrows did not return calls for comment.

The council has not yet scheduled a vote.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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