Aw, shucks! City reverses itself on oyster bar

The Brooklyn Paper
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The city reversed itself and halted work on an embattled raw bar being built on a residential block of Hoyt Street in Carroll Gardens.

The Department of Buildings on Aug. 21 stopped construction at prolific Brooklyn restaurateur and bar-owner Jim Mamary’s latest venture, planned for around the corner from his Black Mountain Wine Bar at Union and Hoyt street. The new, still-unnamed, restaurant has been under fire since January, when neighbors rose up against Mamary’s application for a liquor license.

Back then, the Buildings Department gave Mamary a permit fully knowing he intended to build an eating and drinking establishment, according to city records.

But then, amid neighborhood complaints about Mamary’s plans, the city reviewed the project and, in August, took issue with the restaurateur’s plans.

“The objections related to the proposed use of the site as an eating and drinking establishm­ent,” department spokeswoman Carly Sullivan said.

She did not say why the work was halted. She also declined to say why the agency revisited a project that it had approved only months earlier.

Mamary hopes to restart his project after meeting with the Buildings Department.

“I’m not emotionally attached to it. It’s just business,” he said. “But I am going to do what it takes to get the project back in line.”

It’s not the first time that the project has faced a bumpy road. In January, neighbors launched the high-profile campaign to get Community Board 6 to reject Mamary’s bid for a liquor license — though the board ultimately sided with Mamary.

At the time, opponents said that an additional watering hole on the block might upend their quiet corner of Carroll Gardens and turn it into a junior version of Smith Street, a bon vivant’s paradise.

“It really threatens our way of life,” Mary Hedge said back then.

Hedge and others who criticized the project could not be reached for comment about the Department of Building’s work-stoppage.

Updated 5:08 pm, July 9, 2018
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