Wednesday, November 02, 2016

This Time, Buschenschank On Court Street Is Definitely Closed


Buschenschank, the Tyrolean Bistro Pub at 320 Court Street in Carroll Gardens, recently closed its doors for good. This should not come as much of a surprise to many in the neighborhood.
The owner of the eatery, James McGown, who was also the proprietor of the eatery, has had quite a few problems in the last few years. Most, it would seem, were of his own making.

As it was widely reported, McGown has declared bankruptcy seven times since 2009. Last year, in an effort to hold on his real estate investments, he hosted an auction of several of his properties in Brooklyn. But the buildings failed to fetch the prices McGown had in mind, so he cancelled the potential sales.  Finally, this past September, Auction Advisors was appointed to auction off the properties as part of foreclosure proceedings. During a street-side auction, 320 Court Street fetched $4.95 million. The buyer, according to Crain's New York was Seth Weissman, "a 33-year-old real estate investor who owns about a dozen properties in Brooklyn and Harlem."

The closing of Buschenschank was therefore just a matter of time. Since it opened in 2011, the gastro-pub was a rather terrible neighbor to those living nearby. It had amassed an impressive amount of noise complaints. The NYC Building's Department also issued quite a few violations. Then there was the matter concerning the establishment's illegal basement music venue which features a full bar, but violated occupancy laws and are codes. In 2014, a fire broke out in the basement, and though it was quickly put out and happened during the day, it illustrated the potential danger.

The place was such a problem that Community Board 6 recommended to the N.Y. State Liquor Authority to not renew its liquor license, which the Board rarely does. (Unfortunately, the SLA had already renewed the license before CB6 could make a recommendation.)

In short, Buschenschank was a shady business and its owner was all too willing to push the envelope. Hopefully, the new owner will find a worthier commercial tenant to take over the space.

Are you glad to see Buschenschank go, or will you miss it? We would love to hear your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

It's going to be funny when a Bank of America moves in there

Katia said...


Nooka Jones said...

Is Goldenrod finally being sold too? That location has stood empty for what seems like two years.

Katia said...

Nooka, the building housing Goldenrod, the former PJ Hanley's, does not belong to him. He had just rented the storefront.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see them go, but I hope someone else comes in soon. The facade with those removable windows was done as cheaply and badly as humanly possible and it will decay and start to fall apart in a matter of weeks without attention.

Anonymous said...

I say, at this juncture, the hood is prime pickings for a Prada outlet. Or a Baby GAP.

Rick Anderson said...


I happen to know Seth Weissman who is th enew owner of the property. He is a very responsible developer who has done projects in Harlem, Bed-Sty and Crown Heights. When I saw that he had purchased the property, he sent me the following message: "Excited about the purchase and to be a good stewart of the corner."

I am confident that he will be.

Rick Anderson

Katia said...

Thanks for the information, Rick. Looking forward to the next chapter of this beautiful old building.

Anonymous said...

James McGown sounds like real presidential material to me.

Katia said...

Yup, could probably teach Trump a thing ot two about declaring bankruptcy.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

I heard that McGown is "living" in Spain. Anybody know if that is true?
And if he still own the town house on Wyckoff or was that auctioned off too?
I think he signed some properties over to his daughter. I wonder what's up with that and the bankruptcy.

Anonymous said...

What's the latest on this location? There is now brown paper taped up in each window, and 2 weeks ago I saw an employee from Gersi coming out the the old Buschenschank entrance on Court Street (there's another on Sackett). Hmmmmmm? Despite the noise complaints, this is such an amazing spot with windows open on warm days/nights. It's sat dormant for too long now!