Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Park Slope Neighbor Trouble for Union Hall

April 29th, 2008 · 4 Comments

union-hall-crop.jpgWhile Park Slope’s Union Hall is very popular with customers, it is not so loved by neighbors, many of whom call it a “public nuisance.” Now the bar is facing a hearing before Community Board 6, which recently handled another liquor license hot potato with the Jim Mamary oyster bar on Hoyt Street in Carroll Gardens. In this case, an unusual public hearing is going to be taking place at 6PM on Thursday, May 8, at the CB6 headquarters at 250 Baltic Street. The Union Street Block Association sent out an email blast yesterday to publicize the hearing and residents’ complaints including complaints that noise and rowdy behavior have made neighboring apartments “unlivable.” Eater picks up the narrative here and Gothamist offers a rundown on the dispute here.

Here’s a bit from the press release:

“The owners originally told us that Union Hall would be as much a restaurant as a bar and they were comparing themselves to something more like the Tea Lounge,”
says block resident Jon Crow. “What they’ve created is an enormous drinking establishment, performance venue, rock club and late night hot spot that has given many residents sleepless nights and caused others to move away. While it may look like a library from the outside, it’s anything but. Inside it can be so loud, patrons leave the place continuing to party, literally shouting & screaming, at midnight, one, two, three, four and even five o’clock in the morning, seven nights a week. If we lived on a commercial strip, it could be argued we have little grounds to complain. But that’s not the case here.” To be clear, even the bar admits they have moved onto a residential block. It’s also clear that this is no common bar. This is a wildly successful commercial venture which was not created in the “public interest” of the surrounding community, astheir license application concluded. Many residents and several local bar owners feel strongly that Union Hall’s placement on a residential block was a mistake, one that even the owners seem to now regret.”Since Union Hall opened in June of 2006, those of us who live closest to the bar have found that rooms on the street side of our apartments are unlivable, from early in the evening until 4 and 5 a.m., seven nights a week,” says block resident Laura Jones. “Beds have been moved away from windows into back kitchens, and young couples with infants are unable to make full use of their living rooms. It’s bizarre that long term residents of 20 and 30 years, people who have been the kind of good neighbors who have helped make Park Slope the desirable neighborhood it is today, should be suffering this type of disturbance just because the area has become chic.” Last spring, 75 neighbors signed a letter outlining the problems caused by Union Hall. After numerous individual attempts to work with the bar directly, residents reached out to local authorities to find some solutions. Since that time, several meetings have been held between residents, the bar owners, the 78th precinct, State Liquor Authority, and local state and city officials. The bar’s response to community concerns has at times been honorable, but ultimately unsuccessful. In the first 9 months or so of operation in 2006 & 2007, residents’ concerns were often met with disbelief and indifference as bar owners…

In August of 2005, however, the bar entered the wrong community board information on their application and sent their notice of application to CB7 rather than CB6. As a result, neither the local board nor the neighboring community heard the space was to become a bar with live music seven nights a week or that a public hearing was to take place to decide if this venue was an appropriate addition to this particular neighborhood. Recognizing this situation, Community Board 6 recently decided to redress the error by holding a public hearing to discuss the renewal of Union Hall’s standing license – which expires May 31. What will take place at 250 Baltic Street at 6:00 pm on Thursday, May 8th will be representative of the true public hearing the neighborhood was denied — one that should have given them the chance to voice their objections to the opening of a venue that would change the nature of their residential block.

Another peaceful community board meeting coming up.

Tags: Park Slope · Uncategorized

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 W // Apr 30, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Move to the suburbs.


    Start going to the bar with the rest of the people.

    Problem solving 101

  • 2 Sam // Apr 30, 2008 at 2:27 am

    Boo hoo… How about another bank branch you bad neighborhooders. The majority that reasonably enjoy this bar have every right to. The minority complaining can surely find a buyer and a nice new house with the money they make from selling. I remember when 5th avenue was too scary to walk down, do they?

  • 3 LN // Apr 30, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I’m sure a good number of people reasonably enjoying the bar don’t live next door, nor would they be happy if they did. The world is not a 24 hour party venue. Have some respect.

  • 4 you should move // May 3, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    So much for ‘the city that never sleeps’ nickname then eh?