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Prime 6 quick fix: Owner says he’ll throttle bottles, keep noise down

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The owner of Park Slope’s controversial Prime 6 bar is bowing to the demands of lawyered-up neighbors who believe the new watering hole will be a big problem when it finally opens in May.

Akiva Ofshtein and his future neighbors have been warring over his nightspot — which faces both Flatbush and Sixth avenues — for months, but now Ofshtein’s agreed to tone things down even before he opens his doors.

The bar’s owner claims he’ll pull his planned bottle service — a popular practice at nightclubs where customers get full bottles of booze at their table rather than individual drinks — that he’ll close the backyard by 11 pm on weekdays and at midnight on weekends, and that he’ll ban music outside.

“I can’t have the community mad at me,” Ofshtein said. “It’s a common-sense business practice.”

Neighbors, some of whom have been represented by attorney Harry Lipman — who lives near Prime 6 and is working pro-bono — for about a month, celebrated Ofshtein’s concessions, and his decision to open up about his plans.

“This all started with a lot of mystery,” said Steve Ettlinger, who lives next door to Prime 6. “Now we have some questions answered.”

But some still remain, as residents continue to charge that Ofshtein has never given them an adequate picture as to what Prime 6 will be.

At first, the nightspot was advertised as a sports bar with live music that would attract throngs of Nets fans from the new Barclays Center.

According to his application with the State Liquor Authority Ofshtein, said there would be large television screens “so Nets games can be watched.” Four bouncers would be hired to handle rowdy customers, he indicated.

Fearing clogged streets, rowdy crowds and blaring music that will keep them up all night, dozens of concerned neighbors stormed a February Community Board 6 meeting to protest the bar’s liquor license, only to find it had already been granted — with no community input.

Park Slope residents singled out Prime 6 in part because it stood as a symbol of their failed bid to defeat the Atlantic Yards mega-project,

but as protestors prepared an offensive, Ofshtein changed his business plan — he’s now promising that Prime 6 will not be a sports bar, but a restaurant that will serve “meats and vegetables-based dishes” until 4 am and offer kids brunch deals on weekends.

Ofshtein also agreed to meet with community leaders, the North Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District and a lawyer who represents angry neighbors on nearby St. Marks Avenue. He also set up a telephone line for complaints.

“He has gone above and beyond what any restaurateur in New York City would do,” said Sharon Davidson of the North Flatbush Avenue BID, who mediated Ofshtein’s pow-wows with the community. “I hope they appreciate it.”

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

Emma from Park Slope says:
Glad to see Ofshtein's keeping an even keel about him. I have to wonder though if the neighbors know what's in store for them when the arena opens. A bar on the corner of Flatbush and 6th Avenue - not exactly an intersection known for peace and quiet - is going to be the least of their problems.
April 15, 2011, 1:01 am
trans alt from bike nation says:
Serving meat in Park Slope? He is not looking to serve the community, he is looking to make quick $$$ getting sports fans drunk so they can destroy our beautiful neighborhood after their "events". With a side helping of meat, to make them even more violent.
April 15, 2011, 7:30 am
lysette f from park slope says:
Sharon Davidson is right, what restaurant owner has ever bowed to neighbors before opening. The arena is here whether the folks like it or not and it will bring new sports bars what did they think it would bring. And for goodnessake, its Flatbush Avenue, they purchased homes near a commercial strip, they are a bunch of numnuts. Traffic, foot traffic, noise its all part of the community. Move to the suburbs if you want peace and quite or Scarsdale, Lipman!
And if theowner is smart, he will open a sport bar during games so the area has some entertainment !! longlive Prime 6.
April 15, 2011, 11:10 am
tom tom from brooklyn says:
i agree, this is a commercial strip and its Flatbush Avenue. And you know what? these NIMBYs are going to complain anyway. Especially the golden girl with the dog who slipped on the ice, I hope she remembers to put traction boots on her little puppy during the snow storm. And by the way, whodidnt fall during December. Did you complain to everyone that didnt shovel their snow? What nerve!!
I wish the new owner happiness and I know me and friends will be hanging in the backyard singing, if we cant have music.
April 15, 2011, 12:05 pm
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
Sharon Davidson is sure 'full of herself'!!
April 15, 2011, 1:05 pm
Vic from Park Slope says:
I'm not sure what the big deal of a sports bar would be. Ofshtein shouldn't change his business plan at all! On game nights at Barclays people will be walking all OVER Flatbush Ave. Whether they are going to Buffalo Wild Wings or Ocean's 8. This place is right in the middle and close to the Barclays. If these "numnuts" need a thought to sleep better .... those potential patrons walking to and from the Barclays and Prime 6 will have the pass the 78th Precinct.
April 15, 2011, 4:32 pm
Stanley Weinstein from park slope says:
hey IntheSlope - Regina Cahill and Sharon Davidson are part of a great organization that has been working in this community for like 30 years. All you new people who just moved here have no idea what great things they all have done to this neighborhood. If you lived in this neighborhood in the 70's and 80's, like i did, you would not recognize this place. It was full of prostitutes, drugs and empty store fronts. The BID brought revitalization to this neighborhood. And yet, you still want to complain, i say whatever Prime6 is or is going to be, let the man alone and make a living. Neighbors dont need lawyers to represent them when they have good people working inthe neighborhood like the BID. congratulation Mr. Osfstein, I wish you a lot of luck. I hope to make it into your restaurant one of these days.
April 15, 2011, 4:59 pm
Ellen from Brooklyn says:
Wow, I hope that everyone is feeling better now that the owner and the small group of complainers have their way. You mean to tell me that they couldnt have just gone to the owner and talked to him, it had to take elected officials, the police departmen, the business district improvement, community board and the SLA to iron out a deal? at least that is what i heard about in a closed meeting . What happend to good old days when you sat on the stoop and ironed out deals?
April 15, 2011, 5:05 pm
Ellen from Brooklyn says:
whatever happened to sitting on a stoop and ironing out deals? you mean it took, the community board, the business improvment district, elected officals, the SLA and the police precinct to bring all lthese "numnuts" together?
April 15, 2011, 5:07 pm
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
@Stanley Weinstein: you have NO idea how long I've lived here... if turning our existing neighborhood into a noisy drunken late night SHI$$HOLE for the ATLANTIC YARDS RATNER ARENA then the BID isn’t helping the community…. Regardless how long they been in business… the community has EVERY RIGHT to have their concerns voiced and addressed…. Just as much as the next ‘newcomer’ Prime6/Osfstein….
April 15, 2011, 7:34 pm
Schlomo from White room says:
Trans alt, you are ——ing pice of —— . Please die
April 15, 2011, 8:41 pm
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
@Schlomo from White room: you must be eating too much red meat... it's "piece of" not "pice of"
April 15, 2011, 9:44 pm
Ellen from Brooklyn says:
what in the world did you think the Arena was going to bring here?? besides its not all about Basketball and drinking. There will be other events at the arena, music concerts too. This neighborhood is going to thrive soon and its not all about n oisy dpesrunks. And the Business District isnt about letting any business here. The Bus Dist wants to make sure that everyone obeys the law. But P;rime 6 was singled out.
April 16, 2011, 12:58 am
Murali from Park Slope says:
Not sure why everyone is complaining. Sounds to me like residents should have some input into new establishments that will affect their quality of life. They did, the owner made concessions and appears to be happy with the agreement. And I'm sure he'll make a ton of money - good for him! What's the problem? As a resident of the street, I'm happy that there are guys like Lipman and Ettlinger who will fight for my interests... Thanks - you did a great job!
April 16, 2011, 2:13 pm
Me from Too says:
Can't wait for prime 6 to open!
April 16, 2011, 6:30 pm
Saxton from Park Slope says:
#Murali, so without those 2 lawyer jerks you couldnt speak for yourselfdd ? So now every NIMBY that moves to the neighborhood, is going to hire a lawyer. REsients do a have a say intheir neighborhood, but it has to said in the right way. And you have to include the entire neighborhood not just your street. Besides, how do you know that Prime 6 is going to threaten your quality of life? it hasnt evenopend yet. I hear that a hookah sports bar is opening in the old Helio space, why arent you complaining yet? and new sports bar is opening on 602
{Pacific Street? Why not them? Brooklyn will never be a suburb and many residents will make sure that does not happen.
April 16, 2011, 6:31 pm
flatbush avenue girl from park slope says:
why is everyone so irritable? a deal was done and lets hope the neighbors are happy and stick to being civil and I hope that Akiva Ofshtein sticks to his obligations to the community. It was a long road but negotiations are done. I hope all businesses in this area are not scrutinized the way that Prime 6 was before its opening. Long live Prime 6 and Flatbush Avenue. Everyone did a great job!
April 17, 2011, 12:35 am
Murali from Park Slope says:
@ Saxton - I think the main issue was the changing story of the new operator. I would be very happy with a sportsbar or another watering hole in general (including a hookah bar). However, wild rumors about having strippers (not true I believe), multiple bouncers (apparently true), an open-till-4am garden (tried that, but scaled plans back), with my kids' bedroom facing that way) - yes, definitely a potential quality of life impact. As to having "lawyer jerks" do my bidding/speaking - unfortunately, many people do not react to polite requests for dialogue and only respond to the threat of some form of legal action, so it helps to have neighborly lawyers who know how to navigate the system and force an efficient dialogue about legitimate neighborhood concerns. Again - I think everyone should be happy - it looks like a reasonable compromise was reached. Not sure why you're harping on locals having voiced their concerns.
April 18, 2011, 11:32 am
Sick of NBID says:
Sharon Davidson is a hypocritical sell out - and completely full of herself. Maybe she should stop eating 5 Guys Burgers and cheesecake with Marty - and get some of that fat ignorance out of her head. She is a high and mighty bully who cares very little about the people in the neighborhood. A power monger. And what's worse, not that bright.
June 11, 2011, 11:20 pm
Sick of NBID from Flatbush says:
Ellen from Brooklyn says:

" This neighborhood is going to thrive soon and its not all about n oisy dpesrunks."

Yeah just like 34th and 6th Avenue.

As for the "new comer" baloney from you back in the 70's day - your hypocrisy also knows no bounds. The Nets are from JERSEY, and PRIME 6 is new.

If the BID cared about the area they would fought against Ratner - this area needs community centers, schools, real jobs, not more meat and bars. And let me tell you all something- ARENAS and SPORTS EVENTS ARE PRIME SPOTS FOR SEX TRAFFICKING AND DRUGS. YOU MAY NOT SEE THE "Prostitutes" but now it will be a breeding ground for wealthy non Brooklynites to come and taint what was once a neighborhood. Sickening. You watch.
June 11, 2011, 11:26 pm

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