The gods smiled on Venus this week, as Community Board 18 approved a liquor license for the proposed Utica Avenue bar/restaurant.
The board’s vote was held over from its May meeting, where some residents recalled the troublesome past forged by the previous tenant, Club XO.
Venus owner Roger Lutch vowed to meet with local residents before the board’s June 18 meeting, in order assure them that the future at 1819 Utica Avenue will be considerably brighter.
At the time, he told this paper that Venus will be synonymous with Brooklyn, “just like Junior’s,” the well known Downtown Brooklyn restaurant.
The now shuttered Club XO was the site of a flurry of complaints by local residents. Incidents of loud patrons, noise, general disorderliness and even gunfire were recounted last month.
Venus will focus more on the dining aspect Lutch said, adding that the establishment will play host to all ages for an assortment of community events, including a haunted house on Halloween.
Lutch has said he is as invested in the business as local residents, not just because it’s his, but because he lives just a block away.
Eileen Cullen, the president of the Futurama Civic Association, attended the meeting with Lutch and his business partner, held June 12.
She said she appreciated the pair’s willingness to meet with local residents.
“They claim they will do things for the neighborhood, and that they have their own security,” she said.
Cullen, a former bar owner, said she was “open and honest” with the young businessmen. “I said that ‘you are putting a lot of money in this, but if we start having problems, your liquor license won’t be renewed.’”
“I’ll be watching them closely,” she added.
Venus still needs the New York State Liquor Authority to grant it a liquor license. The board’s vote was simply advisory in nature.