Thursday, March 30, 2017

Is Black Forest Brooklyn Planning A Beer Garden At 181 Smith Street in Boerum Hill?

 181 Smith Street when it was Tony's Hardware Store
Tony in his now closed hardware store in 2014
 More recently, 181 Smith Street when it was El Milagro
photo courtesy: Black Forest Brooklyn
181 Smith Street's New Tenant?
 Courtesy: Smith Hansen

Many in the neighborhood will remember #181 Smith Street as the former home of the beloved Tony's Hardware Store, which closed in 2015 after decades in business. It was briefly followed by El Milagro, a jewelry, gift, and home decor store, which lasted until this past fall, when it too, closed.

Local realty Smith Hanten has been marketing the 2,000 square foot retail space for $12,500 a month, noting that the space also includes a rather large 1,200 sqft outdoor lot, that has a separate access and 20ft frontage on Warren Street. The listing includes a plot diagram of this unusual L shaped property.

Apparently, the space has found a new tenant, according to a Smith Street resident, who reached out to PMFA to report that "a notice has been posted in the window of 181 Smith Street, noting that Black Forest Brooklyn is opening in this location and is applying for a full liquor license."
Black Forest Brooklyn already operates a "German Indoor Biergarten and Kaffeehaus" in Fort Greene. the business has just applied for a liquor license for 181 Smith Street.
" Obviously that raises concerns for neighbors, due to the prospect of a raucous outdoor beer hall atmosphere," the resident told us. "Also worth noting, the Cobble Hill School for American Studies is directly across from the back lot on Warren Street. The idea of a beer garden across from a public school is interesting to contemplate!"

The concern over the potential use of the outdoor space as a beer garden is certainly understandable given the fact that it is entirely surrounded by residential dwellings on Warren Street. Though commercial use is, of course, permitted facing Smith Street, the use of the backyard space may considerably impact the quality of life for those living nearby.

We all love a beer garden, but let us all remember that this is a residential neighborhood with a commercial overlay, intended to serve the community and should not, ideally, subtract from it.

Community Board 2's Health Committee will meet on April 5 for a preliminary discussion on this topic at Brooklyn Hospital, First Floor Dining Room; 121 DeKalb Avenue at St. Felix.
Community Board 2 contact info: (718) 596-5410 or


Anonymous said...

"Obviously that raises concerns for neighbors, due to the prospect of a raucous outdoor beer hall atmosphere,"

I'm sorry but I rolled my eyes hard at that. Complain about the noise but don't act like the type of bar it is will have any different type of clientele than the bars we have already

Bond Boy said...

I'm sorry but I rolled my eyes hard at your eye rolling. No one said anything about the type of clientele. I'm pretty sure "raucous" refers to noise.

Jack Ravio said...

Thats like 1/4 of the other location. I dont live on that block but i am all for it. smith street is dead. needs more non-chains!

Anonymous said...

smith street needs more life. bring it on!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Fabulous that anyone wants to give it a go on Smith Street! We welcome them.

Tobias Holler said...

Hi there! My wife Ayana and I are the owners of Black Forest Brooklyn. Understandably some of you are concerned about the outdoor restaurant space on the lot. Ayana and I will be in front of 181 Smith Street tomorrow (Saturday April 1) from noon to 2pm to introduce ourselves to the neighborhood, and to discuss any concerns you might have. We are excited to be opening our second restaurant here, and hope to be good neighbors! Hope to see you tomorrow! Best, Tobias

EJR said...

Nothing beats outdoor watering holes on a warm sunny day. Small businesses are the lifeblood of a neighborhood and this is an exciting addition to Smith Street. I can't wait until they open.

chance bliss said...

i've been to black forest brooklyn in fort greene several times. it's a fun, very social spot that draws a very diverse crowd - from families in the late afternoon and early evening to people on dates and groups of friends in the later evening.

the focus is on both food and drinks - so it's not just another bar.

given that it's been so many years since robin des bois left smith street, with their backyard that was so great during the summer hours, i think black forest and their outdoor seating would be a welcome addition to our neighborhood. i look forward to giving tobias and ayana and their team a fair chance and hope they succeed.

Anonymous said...

Smith Street is a complete mess I am saddened just walking on Smtih street and each time I do I ask myself why am I living near such filth

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to having a new restaurant/bar in the neighborhood, Tobias. Outdoor seating would be great. Don't pay any attention to the busybodies.

Deirdre said...

People can't seriously be concerned about the school across the street. Are we thinking this beer hall will be spilling over with drunks on weekdays for some reason? There are bars all over the neighborhood (many of them filled with families), I think the children will survive. I hope this place does well, Smith Street desperately needs some life these days.

Anonymous said...

Dear Black Forest Brooklyn,

Please Please Please consider opening a location in Park Slope on 7th Avenue in the north part of the neighborhood or on 5th Avenue. You would be welcomed with open arms!!!

I know so many of your patrons in Ft. Greene live in Park Slope and we'd love to have a place to grab a few beers and food after a day in Prospect Park. Yesterday you would have had more customers than you could handle as I've never quite seen 7th Avenue so bustling.

There are some terrific spaces open for rent around 7th and Union Street.

Oliver Kahn said...

Dear Black Forest Brooklyn,

Don't be wooed by this interloper from Park Slope. 7th Avenue is indeed crowded, yes, but it's full of rabble rousers from the Co-Op who no doubt will picket your future business day in and day out, discouraging potential customers with signs that protest your choice of non-humanely processed bockwurst as well as the authenticity of your artisanal heritage cabbage. Don't be fooled. It's a trap, laid down by an anonymous sleeper agent!

It's true, we are a whiny bunch here in Carroll Gardens but we generally don't boycott. We just fret and moan but ultimately, we enjoy the vigor of sitting outside with a cold Weissbier as much as ANYONE. And we're proud of it. We'll be there for you.

el verde said...

We need more businesses on Smith Street, especially those that allow people to come together, welcome to the neighborhood.

Camille said...

Black Forest in Ft. Greene is a great place where adults and kids meet for good food, beer, and conversation. It is not a raucous frat bar and is just the kind of place Smith St. needs right now. Welcome, Tobias!

Anonymous said...

Last I checked this was a city, not the suburbs. This neighborhood needs more business and foot traffic to attract more than just young families. Something more lively than another home decor or kid's shoe store is very welcome.