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Panel says no to DUMBO dance club

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Is a dance club a good thing or a bad thing for a neighborhood?

A Community Board 2 committee decided last Wednesday night that a dance club at the corner of Front and Old Fulton streets in lively DUMBO would be bad for the neighborhood, voting 5–2 to reject a cabaret license request by the owners of One Front restaurant.

The owner, Marcelo Pevida, sought the permit for his establishment so that he could offer dancing on the second floor. He claimed that the ground floor and mezzanine of the eatery, formerly the Asian-fusion restaurant Toro, but now serving American fare, would remain limited to dining.

But a majority of the members of CB2’s health, environment, and social services committee was persuaded by the opposite argument.

“I have lived in the neighborhood for 25 years and I have never objected to any new restaurant or establishm­ent,” said resident Gary Van der Putten. “But what happens is that these kinds of places get cabaret licenses then, all of a sudden, they deteriorate into clubs.”

Others cited the Clinton Hill nightclub Reign and the notorious neighborhood Studio B club in Williamsburg as evidence.

But Pevida said that his club wouldn’t be like those.

“My restaurant is a benefit for our community,” Pevida said. “When I bought the building, it had been abandoned for three years. I want a cabaret license to improve my establishment for our community.”

The city’s prohibition-era cabaret law requires a special permit — plus more stringent fire and building codes — for any food or drinking establishment that wants to have more than two people dancing at any time.

But residents said that One Front is already too loud without legal dancing. One person said that the police had to be called over the weekend during what he called Pevida’s “two-day party till 4:30 am.”

But one person, Richard Mauro of the Fulton Ferry Business Association, defended Pevida, saying that entrepreneurs like him have turned the Old Fulton Street area from dicey to desirable.

“We full-heartedly support Marcelo,” Mauro said. “DUMBO has become a place to live and raise a family, and he has contributed to make our neighborhood a great place.”

Few agreed.

“Did I miss something? What’s the benefit for the community that [he is] offering?” asked the committee’s chairman, John Harrison.

“To make a place to go dancing for the community,” Pevida replied.

“We don’t want to dance!” a resident retorted.

The rejection by the committee was not a surprise, giving the board’s stinginess with new liquor licenses. In fact, earlier this year, Borough President Markowitz told the board to be more liberal with such licenses.

Pevida will get to take his case to the full board, though that vote is only advisory. The Department of Consumer Affairs will make the final ruling.

Updated 5:15 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

progresivo says:
the vote goes to the executive committee - not the full board.

second, the decision is made by the SLA - not DCA
Nov. 5, 2009, 2:51 pm
progresivo says:
the vote goes to the executive committee - not the full board.

second, i believe the decision is made by the State Liquor Authority - not DCA
Nov. 5, 2009, 2:54 pm
Bill from Fulton Ferry says:
I would like to point out that the restaurant is in Fulton Ferry, not DUMBO, as evidenced by the fact that it is in the Fulton Ferry Historic District, and the community members who testified are from the Fulton Ferry Landing Association and the Fulton Ferry Business Association.

Also, I don't think that the resident said "We don't want to dance." The remark was "We don't need a dance club here." In addition, nobody used the phrase "two-day party till 4:30AM." The testimony was that "this past Friday and Saturday nights there were events held ... that did result in yelling and screaming out front between 3:30 and 4:30, and there were calls placed to the 84th Pct."
In addition, the reference to Reign was merely to point out that thee is only one cabaret licensed in all of CB2. We did not make any characterizations about that establishment. Finally, I believe that Studio B was in Greenpoint, not Williamsburg.
Nov. 5, 2009, 3:59 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
Gee, that place has had a bunch of uses over the past forty five years..every one of them was a failure...a dance club would be something that hasn't been tried before...anyone who doesn't want to dance can always go to the river cafe and have a $250.00 dinner, the DUMBO special.
Nov. 5, 2009, 4:37 pm
Bill from Fulton Ferry says:
Progresivo,

Due to time constraints, the vote will either go to the full Board on 11/11, or the Executive Committee on 11/23.

And cabaret licenses are approved by DCA, not SLA.
Nov. 5, 2009, 4:51 pm
Jessie from DUMBO says:
Progresivo, may you should check your facts.
Nov. 5, 2009, 5:33 pm
Max from FultonFerry/DUMBO says:
Same area both CB2
Nov. 5, 2009, 5:42 pm
Bayof from Biscay says:
Whether Dumbo or Fulton Ferry, it's not Puritania or is it? Oh for the days of gay clubs, stip joints and smoked filled bars in the area. Brooklyn prides itself on its on modesty, self effacement, and lack. But won't it at least allow its residents to dance?
Nov. 6, 2009, 1:25 pm
Rosalita from Sunset Park says:
No more wire hangers! no more wire hangers!
Nov. 10, 2009, 8:34 am

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