Bar fight! CB6 doesn’t want low-key eatery on ‘residential’ Sackett Street

The Brooklyn Paper
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A boyfriend-and-girlfriend restaurant team is fighting a community board that wants to stop it from opening a French eatery and cocktail bar in Carroll Gardens — a stunning echo to a battle four years ago when neighbors fought the couple’s quiet wine bar.

Community Board 6 last week rejected a liquor license bid for the proposed Sackett and Henry Street restaurant, The Hallows, which hopes to serve “country French” food and signature cocktails on a residential block.

“There’s no other commercial activity there,” said Glenn Kelly of Community Board 6. “I wish them well — somewhere else.”

But the young entrepreneurs — who live in Carroll Gardens and two years ago bought the Black Mountain Wine House, a quiet eatery on Union Street in Carroll Gardens — are fighting back to open what they say will quickly become a neighborhood favorite.

“We live here, too, we know this neighborhood — and you can’t just push us aside,” said co-owner Regina Myers, explaining her rye-picon-and-dry-vermouth concoctions are hardly meant for the spring break crowd. “We don’t want people taking shots of Jack Daniel’s — we want them to have a lovely, pretty drink with dinner.”

Some neighborhood groups have pushed to keep the area quiet and residential — even as Smith Street morphed into bustling restaurant row. In 2008, Hoyt Street neighbors fought what they called “bar saturation” — and to keep Smith Street from “spreading” east.

Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Carroll Gardens) supported that push, drafting a bill last year would shutter backyard patios at bars and restaurants before midnight.

The site in question — a former bakery at 204 Sackett St. — has no such outdoor space and would close by midnight. It is sandwiched between two buildings that look residential, but are actually zoned for commercial use, meaning the business could open without any approval from a community board — though such boards do get a say over liquor licenses.

Right now, there are few full-liquor bars in a three block radius of the site — although Bar Bruno sells booze half a block away on Henry Street. It opened last spring with little controversy.

Even so, Community Board 6 — which voted 4 to 2 with 10 abstentions to reject the eatery’s liquor license application — said a full bar would be out of place on a block that is so serene.

“It’s a slippery slope,” Lou Sones of Community Board 6, who owns The Brazen Head on Atlantic Avenue. “Once you receive a liquor license, there’s nothing keeping you from becoming a bar.”

But if Myers’s menu is any indication, that’s not the plan: It includes stuffed quail, cream of pumpkin and chestnut soup, foie gras and bone marrow with blood orange marmalade — a hint at the type of patrons she hopes to attract. That’s why she’ll resubmit the liquor license application, claiming the community board “misreprese­nted and misunderst­ood” her business model.

“If you don’t take care of small businesses like us — you’ll be left with places like Subway and TGIF,” she said.

Myers said the battle isn’t over. She and her boyfriend-slash-business-partner Tyler Maganzini will now circulate a petition to prove neighbors really do support them — and the restaurant’s concept.

“It’s upsetting and dishearten­ing,” she said. “But this isn’t over.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:27 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

jimutz from cobble hill says:
Doesn't appear to be just a little bit sordid that a CB6 member who owns a bar in the area is voting against these people?
Oct. 27, 2011, 6:49 am
Jeff from Boerum Hill says:
She just needs to get her ducks in a row before submitting her petition. The 10 abstentions speak volumes. If she can get the neighbors's support for her restaurant, the board will follow.
Oct. 27, 2011, 9:56 am
SK from Park slope says:
Stuffed quail and fois gras without wine? Now that would be criminal! If I lived closer I would sign petition in an instant!
Oct. 27, 2011, 12:21 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
a french restaurant is a good's not a McDonalds.
just feed the neighbors some free food and they will all line up.
Oct. 27, 2011, 12:24 pm
BS from Carroll Gardens says:
While Henry & Sackett is definitely a more quiet block there is commercial activity...Brooklyn Farmacy is there and is open quite late. Also as the article points out Bar Bruno seemed to have opened right down the street with little problem. CB6's opposition to this place seems sketchy at best.
Oct. 27, 2011, 2:04 pm
DR from Carroll Gardens says:
Hire a good lawyer and go straight to the SLA. The CB is just a recommendation, its not a veto.
Oct. 27, 2011, 5:13 pm
In The Slope from Park Slope says:
Ignore the CB, NYState is sooooooo poor the SLA will give still give you the regardless what the CB votes.... read here all about it....
Oct. 27, 2011, 5:33 pm
Tony from CG says:
Great idea, let's hope they open in the coming months :)
Oct. 27, 2011, 5:48 pm
TheWoz from Carroll Gardens says:
Glenn Kelly is a great asset for the community and as an advocate must draw a line in the sand. Fois Gras today, quarter pounder tomorrow.

That said, I fully support great food in CB6 and under appropriate circumstances can enhance the surrounding area.

A battle of the old / new. Landmarking next.

Oct. 27, 2011, 7:21 pm
Resident from Carroll Gardens says:
I live around the corner from this block. If approved, I would not patronize this establishment. Quail? Foie Gras? No, thank you. What about actually having a good Italian restaurant in the hood? That's what we are missing. Francisco's and Vinny's are garbage. They are the McDonalds of Italian food.
Oct. 29, 2011, 8:58 pm
Neighbor from Union Street says:
Folks who are afraid of this project coming to Sackett should walk up to Union Street between 4th and 5th Avenues and check out Palo Santo Restaurant. Jacques, the owner, is a great neighbor. His restaurant serves wine and great food and is very popular and it is not and has never been a problem for any residents, even immediate next door neighbors. A restaurant can be a fine neighbor.
Oct. 29, 2011, 9:39 pm
You See says:
The chances of a restaurant being a nuisance on this part of Sackett Street is 100% nothing. Most of the mouth breathers who ruin places on Smith Street won’t walk out this far. It’s a good location!
Oct. 30, 2011, 12:09 am
Stacie C from Carroll Gardens says:
I fully support this restaurant and think it would make a great addition to the neighborhood! Would love to be eating country french mere blocks from my apartment.

And for the person looking for more Italian restaurants -- you might want to try Caselnova or Bocca Lupa, Lucali's or Fragole or how about Ferdinando's?
Nov. 1, 2011, 10:26 pm
Olav from Carroll gardens says:
I actually live right next to the proposed restaurant and would very much welcome more options around here! Keep going guys. I will definitely sign the petition!
Nov. 2, 2011, 9:02 am
Elizabeth from Carroll Gardens says:
I live a few doors down and would welcome this lovely establishment. Restaurants near there aren't wild and crazy and if their unassuming Black Mountain Wine House is any indication, this won't be either. A quiet, cozy place to have a nice drink with a lovely dinner is just what we need.
Nov. 2, 2011, 9:21 am
Dana from Carroll Gardens says:
I frequent the Black Mountain Wine House, Tyler and Regina's current establishment at least once a week. It's a wonderful place, very low key, quiet, respectful to the neighborhood, and I would know, as I live half a block away, and welcoming to locals and non-locals alike. They're not a "bar" - it's a cozy, friendly place to eat, drink, snack or all 3... which is what we usually do.
Nov. 3, 2011, 5:30 pm
Matt from Carroll Gardens says:
I live about 2 blocks from the proposed restaurant and absolutely support it. That part of Henry St around Union and Sackett is ideal for a small neighborhood center, and it already does that somewhat, but everything closes early and there's nowhere to grab a drink (until Bar Bruno just opened). Believe me, I'd also oppose a rowdy shots-and-chicken-wings kind of bar, but they're obviously proposing a mature establishment.
Nov. 4, 2011, 12:54 pm
JJ from Cobble Hill says:
I live a few doors down from this address and also would welcome them! I secretly hope for our area to become a little bit cooler. We are a couple in our early 30's that goes to bed early, if that's any indication of the demo they would attract...
Nov. 14, 2011, 7:25 pm
Simon from Carroll Gardens says:
I lived in Carroll Gardens for a year before realizing that Black Mountain was a business and not just another brownstone. C'mon, this isnt tiki bar or camp. This is the type of place young quiet couples frequent.
Dec. 1, 2011, 9 pm

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