The change on Nostrand will make the one on Franklin look minor
How did I pass this every morning and not even notice! Will have to keep my eyes open tomorrow going down Bedford Ave. Between Cafe Rue Dix and Catfish, it will be nice to be lazy and not walk the extra ave to Franklin for a beer or food!
Re: Late-Night Noshers Not Welcome on Bedford Block [DNAinfo]
There are THREE glaring inaccuracies in this article:
1) This “Bedford Avenue venture, one of two new restaurants set to open near the intersection of Park Place this fall on a block of mostly empty storefronts just east of bustling Franklin Avenue."
CORRECTION: this proposed venue is the ONLY commercial establishment on this highly residential strip of Bedford Avenue (east side, from Park Place to Prospect Park), save for a medical clinic on the corner.
2) "This community board is very gentle about what they move forward with.”
CORRECTION: Out of the 16 liquor license applications up for consideration by Community Board 8 from May to September, Catfish’s was the ONLY one denied for a full liquor license (this statement has been confirmed by CB8).
3) "We already made a sacrifice to 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. We thought that's pretty reasonable for a bar and restaurant to close in New York City."
CORRECTION: This is contrary to what was contained in Catfish's application up for consideration at the 9/14/12 Community Board meeting and a recent public posting on their Facebook page:
"Dear Crown Heights and fans of Catfish,
If you are a resident who works late, likes to have a drink, meal, or snack after midnight, feels safer knowing that there is a business open nearby late at night YOUR VOICE NEEDS TO BE HEARD! Your community board does not think that you exist.
Catfish Bar & Restaurant will be going in front of community board 8 on Thursday, September 13th. We are requesting a 4am liquor license so that we can be open for community members like YOU.
Come and show these people that make important decisions about all of our lives that you do in fact exist and you want Catfish in your neighborhood."
***Perhaps 4:00 am is a reasonable closing hour for a bar on a commercial strip in New York City; however the majority of bars on bustling Franklin Avenue close well before this time and EVEN THE BARCLAY ARENA AREA BARS have now been ordered to close by 1:00 a.m. by the State Liquor Authority.
A concerned Crown Heights resident
A concerned Crown Heights resident
What are your concerns?
And using Barclays as an example isn't reasonable - most stadiums have an earlier time. Even Madison Square Garden - on a commercial NYC street - stops serving 30 minutes before concerts/events end - I doubt too many Nets games are going until half past midnight...so using them as comparison isn't sensible.
4:00 a.m. is an unreasonable closing hour for a bar on a highly residential Brooklyn block. Again, they are the only commercial establishment on this block. There is no doubt that made a bad business decision when choosing their location.
Not to mention the bar has a backyard patio and this will be a serious disruption to the quality of life for the residents whose bedrooms are at the back of the buildings (as most are to avoid traffic noise) on Rogers and Bedford.
Upwards of 100 residents who live -- and sleep -- on this block have signed a petition objecting to Catfish's intended closing hours. The bar owners are not taking resident concerns seriously -- even after Brooklyn Community Board 8 chose to deny their liquor license application.
Don't be fooled! They are a bar masquerading as a restaurant... and the Community Board called them on this immediately. What kind of restaurant needs a bouncer at the door until 4:00 a.m.?
Need more evidence? There are no plans for a kitchen. See their DOB filing:
INTERIOR RENOVATION AND BUILD OUT OF EXISTING GROUND FLOOR COMMERCIAL UNIT. PROPOSED PLAN IS FOR A COMMERCIAL BAR WITH PERMITTED ACCESSORY STORAGE IN THE CELLAR. ALL WORK TO BE PERFORMED ON THE CELLAR AND GROUND FLOOR, NO WORK IN REAR YARD, OR FLOORS ABOVE, NO CHANGE TO USE GROUP OR OCCUPANCY.
Is NYC's Community Board 8 a powerful enough body to determine such an issue?
Do we want local control to this extent?
Is CB8 an entity that largely provides the guise of power?
Stay tuned for updates.
I highly doubt you'd see people in there at 4am despite what the owner is applying for.
OFF TOPIC ALERT
I remember when people used to go fishing for cat fish in Prospect Park in the late 50s/early 60s. Dunno whether they ate them or not but they sure seemed edible to me.
Makes me wish I had a super magic wand and could clean up all the streams and air in Brooklyn so people could go dining el fresco as in the old days.
On topic alert:
The folks who want Catfish were not recommended for a liquor lic at the last CB8 mtg:
In one of the board’s final actions before starting the new committee, board members in August rejected an application from Catfish, a planned bar-restaurant on Bedford Avenue which wanted a 4 a.m. closing time. Maxx Colson and Aaron Giroux, two of the co-owners, said they made the request in part because they believe late-night activity will make the street safer.
Catfish’s plans sparked a major protest from its neighbors. Nearby residents formed the Rogers Avenue Block Association, which considers the safety argument a fig leaf. “Past dusk, the neighborhood feels secure now: the local streets are never desolate,” the group wrote in response to a reporter’s questions, calling potential security benefits “highly questionable.”
The block association lobbied the community board with letters expressing fears about noise and the prospect of drunk patrons spilling out into the streets. The association members even appealed to City Councilwoman Letitia James, who wrote to the board in support of earlier closing hours.
Development itself, the association insisted, is not the problem. “We just want to see it happen at a healthy pace,” wrote the group, “with newcomers listening to the community that helped build the neighborhood into what it is today while being respectful of quality of life issues.”
But as the applications of Catfish and other bars or restaurants wind their way through the approval process, it’s still unclear whose quality of life will win the argument.
I think the rejection of their liquor license is silly, however 4am seems unnecessarily late. I suppose they are competing with Franklin Ave. I consider myself someone who likes to drink but can't see myself even staying at a bar until 4am. If you're afraid of noise, be mindful of when you're searching for an apartment and don't rent one above a storefront, empty or not. Find a building.
I do believe that serving drinks in a rear yard requires a separate permit. Noise late a night in backyards where liquor is served is a chronic complaint at CB 8 meetings. Those of you who attend know these things.
Does anyone know of a bar that has a garden open past 11 PM?
I believe most close their gardens at a certain time, perhaps not "by law", but merely to maintain a truce between the bar and the neighbors.
Good advice -- but renters can up and move if they are unhappy with a location. Adjacent to Catfish there are more than a dozen residential property owners (with between 25 and 10 years left on their mortgage) that are very upset with Catfish moving in, and their proposed hours. Yes, we all knew that this property was zoned commercial but over the last several decades it has been occupied by a car service depot, nursery school and real estate office -- all much more appropriate establishments for this quiet, highly residential block.
Agreed. But if you were to look at an aerial view of the interior block -- quiet green space that acts as an echo chamber, who in their right mind would think that opening a bar with a patio would be welcome here -- at any hour? Arrogant kids from out of state, that is who.
I think most of us would prefer a live near a car service depot, nursery school, or real estate office -as opposed to- a bar.
Clearly, the alcohol lic applicants disagree.
Has the landlord for the site made any noise yet? Has s/he stated that they should be able to rent the space to whatever kind of entity is legal, and pointed out that bars are willing and able to pay him far more than a car service depot, nursery school, or real estate office?
...and therefore more likely to be long term tenants?
Actually, I disagree that a bar is more likely to be a long term tenant. In NYC, I think most bar/restaurant combos have an average life of two years. Far more fail than succeed. My suggestion, turn it into professional office space (doctor, dentist, lawyer,etc). Far more likely to be around long-term.
That's boring, homeowner. And I'm pretty sure it's also mere conjecture.
I've been trying to rent a storefront on Franklin Avenue for four months. I can't tell you how many restaurants and bars have approached me about renting the place. Dozens. The number of other uses? A handful. The owner was adamant he didn't want any food or liquor on the premises because he was afraid of offending his 2nd and 3rd floor tenants.
Finally after showning the place about 20 times, we've got a got a vet coming into the place. The owner is elated and exhausted.
By the way the restuarants and bars will pay a lot more money that others for the space.
So that's the landlord's and by extension, the broker's dilemma. Do I wait four months for a tenant and give up considerable additional revenue, or risk losing my residential tenants?
Yup. And while I agree with homeowner about the individual restaurants and bars constantly going under, the LL could be betting on the fact that there is always another restaurant and bar in line line for the location.
If you make enough when the place is rented, you can withstand turnover.
Update: The State Liquor board only gave them a lic to serve alcohol until Midnight.
With hindsight, it looks like they should have agreed to the compromise they were offered. If they can operate responsibly and perhaps win over a few of their neighbors, is there any chance they'll be able to reapply for extended hours in the future?
Let's just say the Block Association had its act together.
....and now has a local restaurant with a lic, as opposed to a bar that happens to have food.
A crucial distinction.
From their instagram
Their facebook says 16 draft beers.
....That is a lot of beers on draft.
Local journalist Maya Lau reviews for ILFA: http://ilovefranklinave.blogspot.com/2013/01/catfish-bar-and-restaurant-opens-on.html
I stopped by today.
-Nice outdoor area.
-Some good craft beers.
-Some good cocktails.
...pub food, not entrees.
Folks who live East of Franklin no longer need to walk as far as Franklin to get this variety of beverages and eats.
Photo: Catfish facebook page
Capt. Thank u for renting to the vet we needed that!
Yes, thank you Capt. Planet for holding out and bringing a much needed service to the community! Every time I've needed a vet, I've always had to go outside of Crown Heights, so I'm looking forward to becoming a faithful client of your new tenant.
The Captain is a good guy.
Here's a thread where we've been talking about the animal hospital coming to Franklin:
That photo looks like the bar at Cornelius.
It does have some qualities similar to Cornelius
Any further thoughts on the food? I got a gumbo to go last Sunday and was a bit alarmed at how long it took (close to 20 minutes). Also, it was outrageously expensive ($17 for a large). It was tasty, but not for that kind of money...
Saw a pic of bananas foster pancakes on their facebook page. Anyone had their brunch?
I've tried this place a few times and, overall, it's pretty good. Decent selection of beers, bourbons, wines, etc. and the food is tasty. Each time I've gone, it's been crowded, so I think they will be around a while. Anyone else give it a shot yet?
Was here last night and have been a handful of times. Had the roast beef po'boy and the lady had andouille sausage sandwich. We both left full and satisfied. It was super crowded (fri night). They have a great coconut beer also.
Would love to see Cafe Rue Dix open someday too!
Oh My God, If that coconut beer is back - so am I!!!
It is tooooooo goood.
I've been here a number of times. For me this is the only good beer place in all of Crown Heights. I know most people might not understand, but the owners of Catfish do. Good beer is a constantly rotating selection of new and interesting beers made by good brewers. We have so many small breweries in the U.S. now you cannot keep the same 6 beers on tap any longer. No one on Franklin can compete with this place on that.
Moreover, except for the bouncer just doing his job, I am treated very well by the staff. They are extra friendly and accommodating I think, trying to make up for their bad start with the neighbors.
You cannot get that coconut beer on Franklin Ave. The keg kicked before I got a second chance with it. Hope it rotates back in.