In Prime 6 fight, the bar owner has two faces

The Brooklyn Paper
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The owner of a controversial new bar in Park Slope maintains that his place will be a local eatery — but he told state liquor officials that the two-story, 230-person “lounge,” will hire four “security guards,” offer “bottle service” and have an outdoor “stand-up bar.”

Prime 6 will be a live music venue that caters both to Brooklynites and, “out-of-town patrons in anticipation of the Barclays stadium” that is rising one block away, according to a booze permit application filed by owner Akiva Ofshtein last year with the State Liquor Authority.

“It will offer several rooms for private parties, including a basement lounge [and] a large outdoor secluded-dining backyard to be enjoyed during the spring,” the application continued.

The documents also note that “there will be large TV screens so that Nets games can be watched.”

Neighbors are concerned.

“It underlines the mysteriousness of the proposed bar,” said Steve Ettlinger, whose yard faces Prime 6’s outdoor patio, which will seat 46 people. “There are a number of things that don’t stack up.”

Community Board 6 now wants to reopen the debate, voting last week to ask the state for a new license hearing on the grounds that the board failed to provide locals with enough advance warning about the lone hearing.

Neighbors have been protesting Prime 6 — which faces both Flatbush and Sixth avenues — for weeks, saying it will keep them up at all hours, clog streets and lure a rowdy crowd. They now have a lawyer.

“There is no denying the large and growing groundswell of opposition,” wrote attorney Harry Lipman, who lives near Prime 6 and is working pro-bono.

Opposition or not, Ofshtein is pushing ahead. In an interview, he explained that he would indeed offer “occasional” bottle service — a nightlife trend in which big spenders order full bottles of hard liquor for a table of partiers, a practice at many venues that cater to a Manhattan-style crowd. He added that he “won’t be pushing it” on the menu.

“I would sell a bottle to a large party,” he said, comparing it to wine. “I think any restaurateur would do the same thing.”

On a wider level, opposition to Ofstein’s bar can be seen as a proxy battle in the long fight over the Atlantic Yards mega-project, which will undoubtedly alter the local nightlife scene once the Barclays Center arena is completed in late 2012. The area is already bustling at night — but there is no telling what 19,000 basketball fans will do once they become a thrice-weekly fixture.

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

jj from brooklyn says:
Slopers are upset that their life will be changed by the Nets Arena! Where were these a—holes during the fight over Atlantic Yards. They allowed their pols and community board to waffle until the deal was sealed (and THEN they come out with voices of concern).

Northern Park Slope will NOT be the same. That's a fact of live. Get used to it.
March 22, 2011, 7:52 am
In The Slope from Park Slope says:
@ jj:

amen.... no one gets off their a$$'s @ the start to manage the effects.... now deal with what you got....
March 22, 2011, 8:45 am
jj from brooklyn says:
Even on this bar, a guy I know (he's a well-heeled lawyer who owns a nearby brownstone) told me the other day he just heard about it and was horrified. I told him it was in all the local papers and blogs for weeks. "I never look at them," he said. Well, tuff nougies. If you care about your neighborhood, you should care enough to read the local media (newspapers and blogs) and stay informed.
March 22, 2011, 8:55 am
s from ps from ps says:
hey JJ - why don't you learn the facts before you spew your mouth?? Community Board 6 had notice of the liquor application and SLA hearing for weeks and--never informed the community. Why? They put it in a drawer and forgot about it. Do you know anything about due process? we have a right to have our say in what goes in our nabe. No one is protesting the "restaurant." we are protesting an outdoor bar that stays open 7 days a week until 4 a.m. Why don't YOU read a little?
March 22, 2011, 9:01 am
jj from brooklyn says:
If the yuppies and their fellow-travelers in Park Slope gave a damn — going back to the Atlantic Yards fight — CB6 (which, as I said, sat out the AY fight) would have been more diligent. Anyhow, what kind of businesses did you expect would open up a block or two from a basketball arena? You'll be lucky if you'll only need one hand to count the "gentlemen's clubs" that will be coming.
March 22, 2011, 9:21 am
Akiva from Brighton Beach says:
if you're selling your brownstone cheap to get away from Prime 6, I'll buy cash!
March 22, 2011, 9:33 am
Dave from Park Slope says:
Suck it up everyone, your brownstones will be worth double once this is all done. If you don't like it, then tough! This is development and gentrification for you, there are plenty of other neighborhoods and suburbs to move away from all of this if you are that concerned. This area of Brooklyn is becoming the new manhattan to a certain extent, and you people are going to have to accept that because your criticism and opposition is limited and most likely wont change a thing!
March 22, 2011, 12:10 pm
upright citizen from park slope says:
what the Brooklyn PAPer stated, is once ag in only one sided without findingn out facts. Did all know that there was a informal community meeting held last week with the lawyer, elected officials, CB6 and the North Flatbush Avenue BID. This lawyer grilled the owner like he was a defendant. When the owner of Prime 6 said he would work with the community and agree to certain limitations to his SLA license, like closing earlier during the week, closing earlier on weekends, and removing his outdoor bar, this lawyer would not agree to any terms. The continue to fight for their quiet stretch of St. Marks Avenue and will not allow this restaurant to open. If you hear any news otherwise, it is bogus. These folks are unreasonable.I say move back to Scarsedale Mr. LIPMAN.
March 22, 2011, 1:08 pm
jj from brooklyn says:
upright: it's not unreasonable for people to seek to protect their neighborhood's "quality of life." however, by accepting construction of the arena (and at least some portion of Atlantic Yards), CB6 and the people of park slope gave tacit approval to the changes that will soon take place (including this bar).
March 22, 2011, 2 pm
Sam from Downtown says:
Woohooo! Bring on the bar!
March 22, 2011, 3:40 pm
The Worst from Park Slope says:
La di da I'm from park slope and I live in a brownstone and want to live only near organic food coops and organize childrens play dates and pretend I don't live in the city with scary black people who drink hennessy. What? Some of my best friends are black, they just happen to wear dreadlocks and eat vegan organic food and play acoustic folk music.

I am from park slope and I am The Worst.
March 23, 2011, 5:21 pm
GoAhead from Park Slope says:
LMAO at those of you who didn't think this was coming! I mean honestly LOOK AROUND!! Park Slope is completely changing. I have lived here more than 24 years and let me just tell you that this neighborhood has come a LONG way!! Bring on the bars, lounges, and nightlife! They're building an ARENA here people, of course the night life is going to change. Of course they are going to begin to cater to the big city spenders that are going to be around here including Nets PLAYERS! Get the with the times! If you don't like the nightlife, pack yourself up and move to the suburbs! LEt Park Slope thrive and finally get the recognition that it should because it a beautiful neighborhood. My one concern is that all of this bring positive change to the tacky bar fights and craziness, but I doubt it with the class of people they'll be catering to. Other than that we're good.
March 29, 2011, 3:48 pm

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