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W’burg residents: We love gay bar, but hate its noise • Brooklyn Paper

W’burg residents: We love gay bar, but hate its noise

Some Williamsburg residents say the Lorimer Street gay bar Metropolitan is keeping them up at night because noisy patrons congregate on its patio.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

A Williamsburg gay bar is under fire — and neighbors say it’s not because they’re proud, it’s just because they’re loud.

A North Brooklyn civic group unanimously rejected a Lorimer Street gay bar’s request for a liquor license renewal last week over complaints that the boisterous Metropolitan bar keeps its neighbors awake late into the night.

Community Board 1 members stressed that while they love and respect the gay community, Metropolitan bar failed to abide by state guidelines that force the venue to close its outdoor space by 11 pm on weeknights and 1 am on weekends.

“It’s equal grief for everyone,” said CB1 member Tom Burrows, who says he has visited Williamsburg’s first gay bar many times and “always notices a violation.”

Neighbors approached the board in January when the bar’s liquor license renewal appeared on the agenda, claiming they were fed up with shards of broken glass in the courtyard, billowing cigarette smoke, and cacophonous conversations from revelers that lasted past 4 am.

One Williamsburg resident told the board’s public safety committee he had to hose off the sidewalks in front of the bar on Lorimer Street to remove the smell of urine.

“If the owner just brought people inside at 1 am when he is supposed to, this would have never happened,” said Linell Ajello.

Metropolitan’s owner did not return a call for comment, but the bar’s manager said that neighbors are “never happy” and have complained about noise as early as 10 pm.

The board’s vote is only a recommendation and does not mean that the bar will lose its license.

The State Liquor Authority has the ultimate power to grant or renew liquor licenses for bars and restaurants — and Metropolitan Bar likely won’t face much trouble, considering it has no prior violations or complaints on file, an agency spokesman said.

But Williamsburg resident Sinclair Rankin hopes the board’s vote will at least send a message to the bar to better soundproof its backyard — without necessarily tamping down any of the fun its customers are having.

“I could care less if people were making out back there,” said Rankin. “You can’t hear making out.”

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

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