Notes From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

February 18, 2009 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 



It was packed at last night’s Community Council meeting. If I had to guesstimate I’d say there were at least 100 people present. Many of whom were residents and/or business owners from Franklin Street, along with a camera woman from Channel 12, a community liaison from Joseph Lentol’s office and a “representative” from the Production Lounge.

Although a cake congratulating Officer Fulton for his promotion to Deputy Inspector was in the offering, all eyes, ears, minds and most importantly mouths were intent on discussing last weekend’s incident at the Production Lounge And I’ll tell you: all the people present (save perhaps two) be they old timers, newbies, 30-somethings with children or simply concerned citizens were very, very angry. What I found most interesting was that although the gun play at the Production Lounge (and how the police handled it) was the subject of the entire meeting, it was in reality a proxy for a number of quality of life issues which have been festering in Greenpoint for some time. These included but were not limited to:

  • The proliferation of bars on Franklin Street.
  • The increase in noise and disorderly activity which has come as a result of the previous.
  • Dissatisfaction with the 94th Precinct’s response to complaints.
  • Club Exit.
  • Allegations that 311 is fudging the number of complaints being called in.

Disturbing allegations that the ownership of The Production Lounge did not care about the nuisance it was posing to its neighbors (and in fact encouraged it) also arose. As did some incidences which would be best described as harassment or outright intimidation. But enough preliminaries. Follows is my footage from the meeting. Draw your own conclusions.

Part I

Part II

Part III

I’ll be adding more footage from this meeting as YouTube (and my sheer will power) sees fit.* In the meantime those of you who have been affected negatively by The Production Lounge (or any other watering hole in Greenpoint or north Brooklyn in general) can and should contact the following:

State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol
619 Lorimer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 383 – 7474
lentolj (at) assembly (dot) state (dot) ny (dot) ny (dot) us

Councilman David Yassky (When this was suggested at the meeting a number of people shouted in unison “He’s useless!” But who knows?)
114 Court Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
(718) 875 – 5200
yassky (at) council (dot) nyc (dot) ny (dot) us

My good friend over at Neighborhood Threat has already pointed that out all noise complaints should be tendered to 311. Take down the complaint number(s) and hand them over to our local Community Board via email…

Community Board 1
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn , New York, 11211
(718) 389 – 0009
Fax: (718) 389 – 0098
Email: bk01 (at) cb (dot) nyc (dot) gov

And last, but hardly least, you can also file a complaint to the New York State Liquor Authority. Here’s a snippet of their online complaint form.


Given what I heard from last night’s meeting I suspect complaint boxes two and six will be very useful. It might also strike some as interesting that The Production Lounge has neither a Place of Assembly permit nor Certificate of Occupancy. In other words, they have no right to have people (much less those brandishing firearms)  in 113 Franklin Street in the first place. Don’t believe me? Go to the Department of Buildings web site and see for yourself.**

Miss Heather

*You can watch the final two installments by clicking here.

**Oh yeah: it should come as no surprise to my fellow Greenpointers that the Production Lounges has no cabaret license either. Sound familiar, anyone?

P.S.: There’s much more piquant commentary about last night’s proceedings to be found on Yelp.


5 Comments on Notes From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

  1. Rob on Wed, 18th Feb 2009 1:20 pm
  2. Thanks for blogging on this, Miss Heather. You’re doing the neighborhood a real service.

  3. Jay on Wed, 18th Feb 2009 6:12 pm
  4. It really seems unlikely that they don’t have a Certificate of Occupancy, because you have to submit a copy of it in order to get a liquor license. They would also have needed it to pass the fire and health inspections that would be required before opening. It has to be on hand while the bar is open and police or other officials can ask to see it at any time. It’s almost certain they would have taken information from it in the aftermath of this shooting incident. So in this case I’m skeptical that the DOB site is accurate.

    As for a cabaret license, they probably don’t need one. Few bars have them, in fact reportedly there are fewer than 200 currently in NYC (as compared to over 5,000 liquor licenses). Not having a cabaret license would mean only that it’s not legal for dancing to occur there, but it wouldn’t mean that bands or DJs are prohibited. In fact I’ve seen bands at a couple of well-known and fairly large places in Manhattan (The Annex, if I remember correctly) that have “No Dancing” signs posted on the walls.

  5. Jay on Wed, 18th Feb 2009 6:16 pm
  6. Should have added to my earlier comment: a Place of Assembly permit is only necessary if the capacity is over 75. I don’t know if that’s the case at Production Lounge; I’ve never ventured more than a few feet inside. There should, though, be a fire department notice with the capacity posted and visible.

  7. Tony From Kent Street on Wed, 18th Feb 2009 11:17 pm
  8. Thank you also Miss Heather for documenting this so well. I very much wanted to attend this meeting but didn’t want to expose a packed crowd to my bronchitis.

    So now what? I don’t understand how 16 shots fired isn’t adequate for shutting an establishment down. It doesn’t seem like anything is going to happen now until we have another incident.

    How do we as a community let these people know that they are unwelcome here?

    Like a symbolic non-literal brick through their window?

    I just got laid off and when I rebound from this illness, I am free and open to helping organize anything that can constructively make this business not continue, but I do not know what to do. It’s really frustrating and hearing those shots in my head just makes me cringe that TPL is still open.

  9. Jay on Thu, 19th Feb 2009 6:19 pm
  10. Seriously, you can’t expect this single incident to result in the place being closed down, and I can’t believe that anyone would really want it to be that easy. There has to be more of a pattern established. Look at it this way: think of your favorite neighborhood bar, or even restaurant. Is it inconceivable that some day some patron might walk in there, become unruly, be escorted out, and angrily pull out a gun and start shooting?

    Certainly it could happen anywhere, so the proverbial bar has to be higher than that. Regarding this incident in particular it seems that the Production Lounge did handle it the best way it could have been handled if the story happened as most reliable accounts have it: there was some altercation inside, and their security (three licensed security guys were working, I have been told) defused it and ejected the troublemakers.

    So the problem comes if there is or already has been established a pattern of this kind of thing. I don’t really know if that’s the case; most of the complaints at the meeting (judging only from the video) seemed to focus on noise complaints. I’ve read mentions of prior fights outside, and of people being verbally harassed, but nothing about any other incident that would have physically threatened anyone other than patrons. It seems more like this is a “last straw” for many people, which is understandable. But again that adds up to a pattern of problems, it doesn’t mean that the place deserves to be shut down because of “16 shots fired.” It wouldn’t be, it shouldn’t be, and no place would.

    Which takes those wanting change back to the Deputy Inspector’s advice at the meeting: call 311, 911, or the precinct as appropriate. Establish a pattern, or help the police to do it, but remain reasonably patient about what steps can be legally taken.

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