Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Gowanus BBQ Club": Green Building Waterfront LLC. Planning Seasonal Outdoor Venue

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Akiva Reich, left, and his lawyer at Monday evening's CB6 Permits And Licenses meeting

Akiva Reich, who owns and manages the historic Green Building, a multi-use space at 452 Union Street in Gowanus, has just applied for a full seasonal liquor license for a "barbecue club" on an empty lot next door on Bond Street and adjacent to the Gowanus Canal.
Reich, together with his lawyer, presented his plans to Community Board 6's Permits And Licences Committee this past Monday evening.  The 10,000 square foot space will accommodate 157 patrons, there will be 22 tables and two bars.  According to the application, the venue will be open 6 days a week until 2 AM, from May to November.
Until recently, the lot was used as a food truck parking space. In the past few weeks, Reich and his partners have erected a new fence around it and are busy getting ready to open. A BBQ cart is already parked on the lot.
Reich maintained that he had posted notices regarding his liquor application along Union Street and Bond Street, but the address mentioned in the flyer is for the Green building itself. The notice does not indicate that it was for the open lot next door.
Members of the committee expressed concern regarding sufficient notification to neighboring residents, given the size of the venue.  No one representing the community attended Monday night's meeting, but a local resident had reached out to CB6 manager Craig Hammerman the day of the meeting asking for the committee to delay a vote since many residents, including those from The Mill and The Satori, two large condominium buildings, had not been informed.
The Committee also questioned if the venue would get the approval from the local police precinct for a sound permit.  Some of its members also mentioned the noise complaints generated by "The Gowanus Grove", a similar venue which operated on a lot two blocks away on Carroll Street at the canal two years ago.
At the end, the Committee voted 4 against 4 to disapprove the license.  Since there was a tie, the matter will be decided at the general Board meeting on May 13th.




24 comments:

Trumbull Bully said...

Bully still here...

Ahem, Katia, ahem... Don't you think you should mention your comments at the meeting? Better zip up, your bias is showing.

Katia said...

Obviously I was there since I took the photo at the meeting.
And yes, I did speak out to say that this will have an impact on those who live nearby.
As far as I know, it is not a crime to speak out at a public meeting. People do it all the time, Bully.

Anonymous said...

I live across the street and often hear events that are held indoors at the green building. So I am biased but think I have every right to protect my significant financial investment and my family's quality of life especially when it affects my children's sleep.

The community board seems to be unfamiliar with Gowanus and the fact that there are many families who live here.

I know of one person who received a notice in the mail but line myself did not realize the application was for an outdoor BBQ and bar that will play music until 2am six days a week. That person feels mislead. I am sure a lot of others feel mislead too. It's seems like the owner was trying to hide his true intentions from the community.

Anonymous said...

The people who rent especially those on Bond between President and Union Streets are in for a rude awakening. Literally. I don't think there is any obligation to notify tensnts. If I were a landlord who depended on rental income I would be very worried.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, welcome our BBQ overlords.

Anonymous said...

This will probably not be nearly as loud or disruptive as everyone is fearing. It will probably only be busy Thursday to Saturday nights, and if noise is a problem, CB6 can enforce an earlier curfew. Also, it's only for the Summer. The usual PMFA tempest in a teapot.

Katia said...

Look, guys, this is all very easy to wish onto someone else just so that others have a new drinking place.
All that is required here is that the neighbors have enough time to have a say in front of CB6. Nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:33,

The outdoor space will be operating until November which is hardly only for the summer months. If they were going to open only Thursday-Saturday then that should have been what the owner asked for.

The community board is only advisory. They can't enforce any curfew if this becomes a problem. The liquor license is ultimately granted by the State Liquor Authority.

Anonymous said...

Bully, you sound like a profoundly cynical and unhappy person. Have you ever consider talking to a professional? You may find it a better outlet for your negativity than a small neighborhood blog run by what seems like a very earnest and dedicated lady who cares deeply about her environs.

Who says Katia has to be impartial? I don't see any claims from her that she portrays herself to be that. If you don't like the views, stop complaining and start a blog. You'll be amazed to learn that it costs absolutely nothing to do so!

Anonymous said...


I live on Bond between Union and Sackett and have concerns about this. We did receive a notice through the mail in the morning of the meeting and were unable to attend at that late date; with a respectful serious timely notification we would have been able to attend the meeting. Leaving notification to the last minute is a not a good faith attempt to notify the neighbors, in addition the notice hardly addresses the scope of the project.

The permit is for the operation of an outdoor bar from May through November, six months. That has more than just the potential to seriously affect the quality of life of those of us who live here. We often hear the music from the Green Building and are disturbed many nights by the guests leaving events but hanging out in the street yelling. A bar/food joint operating for half of the year is something to definitely worry about!

Agnes said...

Please, NO! I'm on Nevins, and I hear the parties, events going on indoors, in the Green Bldg. So an outdoor venue is definitely going to create noise - I'm sure there will be music, no? There are MANY residents living in the area - in is not in a deserted wasteland, as some would like think of Gowanus.

Anonymous said...

Who wants to eat and sit on the banks of the fetid canal?
Blecch.

Anonymous said...

I live around there and am not bothered by this. Lavender Lake has a huge outdoor space on the other side of the block and that hasn't been a problem. Anytime they've had weddings or parties there I haven't heard much noise except when walking directly by. They're pretty well contained on that corner.

Also, this isn't a new drinking place like Bar Great Harry or Zombie Hut, it's an outdoor restaurant.

Lastly, April 29, 2015 6:18 PM is right, Bully needs mental help badly.

Anonymous said...

I welcome this new addition to the neighborhood...Restaurants and bars coming in is inevitable, I think we should accept and embrace it. would you prefer this space become a CVS or Wall Mart?

Anonymous said...

Here is why property owners nearby need to care especially those living in the two condominium buildings mentioned. People should not think because they don't face the green building or won't hear the noise it doesn't affect them it certainly could if people who are most affected have to sell or rent their units at a discount those will be comps that will be used for all units in a building.

Jimmy from Brooklyn said...

How many people can fit in Lavender Lakes backyard?

I also welcome our BBQ Overlords....

Anonymous said...

Isn't that the driveway where the food trucks parked and the rats frolicked? Was there any mention as to where the garbage will go and how it will be secured so that it won't attracts rats and raccoons?

Anonymous said...

I don't think one can compare this Gowanus BBQ Club to Lavender Lake because Lavender Lake has a confined kitchen within it's brick-and-mortar, whereas this BBQ Club will be outdoors where food preperation will take place out in the open along the bank of the Gowanus Canal, the very place where rats roam and savage for things to eat.

Currently the Green Building has an 11pm curfew on events so noise (wedding bands, DJs, crowd chatter) is rather contained on that corner. But if the Green Building is allowed to play music until 2am then I think it will certainly become a problem.

Anonymous said...

Yes that is the same driveway where the frolicking rats were seen...

Anonymous said...

Nobody wants a CVS or Wall Mart as much as they want an open-air food court that will draw rats. Add a Top 40 playlist blaring the same tunes night after night until 2 in the morning and it won't be a welcomed addition. Pepper that with a line of idling taxi cabs jockeying for position with the Ubers and Lyfts of the world at the corner of Bond and Union and I'm sure the acceptance and embracement will quickly diminish.

But say that they get their liquor license and cut the booze and music promptly at 2am. And say that the rat problem is kept to a minimum. But those tenants who chose to move to this area because this area is a good distance from the bars on Smith Street will eventually pack up and leave. And people who pack up and leave an area because of a bar's last call exodus, I'm assuming, do so because they have to be up at a certain hour in the morning, which is the perfect opportunity for landlords to put those vacated apartment back on the market at higher rents.

That alone should be worrisome because people who can afford high rents and who do not have to be up in the morning are either young, privileged and clueless, or are retirees who planned and invested well throughout their lives; the latter of which I'm guessing would not opt to live near a toxic Superfund site.

Trumbull Bully said...

SeƱor Bully here...

Happy siete de mayo!

Katia is obviously biased, and I don't expect her to be impartial, but this post is positioned as a news story, and part of that news should be that Katia Kelly spoke up at the CB6 meeting against this BBQ place. This was chronicled in the DNAInfo story: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150428/gowanus/outdoor-bbq-overlooking-toxic-gowanus-canal-slated-open-this-summmer

I'm going to start a blog called Pardon Me For Being a Wet Blanket and just re-post everything from here.

Anonymous said...

Actually, noise is NOT currently contained at the Green Building, as evidenced last night. We heard every single lyric and chord from the live, apparently 80s cover band at midnight, playing Last Dance and Don't Stop Believin'. Lavender Lake is MUCH better at containing their noise. It seems as though the Green Building operators/managers don't care that they are violating noise ordinances and annoying their neighbors, since they don't seem to ever be penalized for it. If their patrons are happy, who cares?!?

Anonymous said...

The Green Building doesn't even adhere to noise rules now, how are we to believe that they will take proper precautions to prevent rodents and more excessive noise and idling cars from being a problem? Once its in, it will be really, really hard to enforce the violations, folks. Couple that with the lack of notice/downplaying the plans, and I don't believe these guys care at all about their neighbors.

Anonymous said...

We live practically across the street and are thrilled with what the owners of The Green Bldg have done for their block; it was a blight and now it's beautiful. And we are excited to have another food venue nearby. It was very sad when we lost the Gowanus Grove, so this new venture is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Much better than the noisy, messy food trucks that didn't serve our area and the "frolicking rats."