Cabaret License Riddle

July 8, 2008 by
Filed under: Asshole, Greenpoint Magic 

What do you do when you when you manage a night club that has received a lot of bad press and seeks to get a cabaret license after operating without one for years?

If you’re Studio B you offer to “reach out” to disgruntled neighbors by having a barbecue and hire a former city councilman to argue your case. Mr Fisher, now a lobbyist* for such businesses as Two Trees Management and the Kingsland Group put on quite a show. He told everyone present not to believe the “second” and “third-hand reports”. Hilarity ensued.

The problem with acting like there is no problem is a handful of Greenpointers might be on hand to tell you otherwise. What’s more, can a woman pick up her dog’s crap without being propositioned? For shame!

In all seriousness, Mr. Fisher’s speech was not only a farce, it was an INSULT to the intelligence of Community Board 1 and the hardworking people who have the misfortune of calling Studio B a neighbor. The Public Safety Committee will convene to hold a vote regarding Studio B’s Cabaret license on July 31, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. Who will prevail? Only time will tell.

Miss Heather

*Whose specialty is Real Estate and Independent Contractor Compliance.


9 Comments on Cabaret License Riddle

  1. neighborhood threat on Wed, 9th Jul 2008 10:44 am
  2. it was especially heartening to see:
    1) multiple neighbors, many of whom don’t have blogs, leafletted the block before the meeting
    2) even more neighbors, most of whom had no idea other people had been complaining, showed up, but didn’t get there in time to speak (not everyone can get off work early to get there by 6:15)
    3) those same neighbors who were able to get there in time to speak.

    it showed that this is a real, large, neighborhood issue.

    the biggest insult was fisher trying to position studio b as though it’s in the middle of nowhere and the residential area is incidental and that the biggest problem is the taxi horns honking…and that the roof deck will result in less noise.

    the other thing i wanted to ask is – how are people supposed to complain to the club? the one phone number that’s public goes to a recording.

    the sad thing is, even if they get the cabaret license or don’t get it, it won’t matter. they’ll just keep doing what they’re doing.

  3. calyercooze on Wed, 9th Jul 2008 11:16 am
  4. Julia and I spoke to Ken Fisher before leaving — we invited both him and Agnes (owner/manager, I think that her name) into our homes any time the club is open to hear the noise or to see the problems that are created at night. He was hired by them only two weeks ago and said when we said something about not wanting to attack the messenger (him) “That’s why I get paid the big bucks.”

  5. fifi on Wed, 9th Jul 2008 5:31 pm
  6. Miss Heather, et al,

    I live around the corner from the illustrious Club Exit & have the same problems Studio B’s neighbors have every Thursday-Saturday night. My neighbors and I have begun calling 311 to report every noise problem, and their solution is always, “I’ve made a note & contacted your local precinct, who’ll send out a car as soon as they can.” By the time the police make it all the way over to Leonard (what is it, 4 blocks from the station?), the noise-offenders have usually dispersed.

    But we all know the cycle–people leave the club at different times. So I’ve asked them to go ahead & schedule a police unit to check out the scene around 4 when the club is kicking out all the really drunk people. This always just prompts a laugh. The good people at 311 don’t seem to think the fighting, peeing, attempts to get laid in public, and proliferation of drug baggies on the sidewalk aren’t real problems.

    Now that my a/c is on full-tilt every night, I’m spared from hearing most of the fighting & fight songs (yeah, sometimes groups of drunk Polish guys scream fight songs together at the top of their lungs), but I’m still greeted by the vomit, pee & broken glass the mornings after, not to mention the occasional blood stain from some random act of drunk violence. And god forbid I try to walk past that place or down my own street while it’s open–the drunk boys think I’m a cheeseburger or something.

    What else can we do? And where & when are these damn community meetings held? I never hear about them till after they’re over.

  7. Dewitt Clinton on Thu, 10th Jul 2008 5:22 am
  8. I don’t get it. The club is in the middle of the block, surrounded by manufacturing buildings. The only thing that someone behind the club could hear from the club is chatter from the rooftop, where no music is played. The glass roof they want to build will stifle that noise. So all you’re left with are the customers of the club and their activities going to and from the club. Now, I’m not saying that isn’t a problem, but shitty people are going to be shitty people and if Studio B closes down another club will open on that end of the neighborhood. There is too much manufacturing space over there that isn”t profitably occupied. So why give the club a hard time about their permit? Why not take the opportunity to speak to its owners to get them to get some trashcans for the street corners, agree to add (off-duty pd) security on the block, and do a litter sweep every morning like BIDS do in business districts? That way you’re addressing the problem, which is the club’s patrons – not the club.

  9. neighborhood threat on Thu, 10th Jul 2008 10:19 am
  10. Why is it our problem to get the club to do what they should already be doing, and claimed at the meeting they ARE doing (despite evidence to the contrary).

    BTW, what buildings over there aren’t occupied, besides the empty building on the south side, which is being rezoned to a SRO? Across the street you have an active woodworking shop and a tomato wholesaler. On the north side there is a contractor. Across Meserole you have Daedalus, who makes scenic designs for theater & concert stages. Across the street from them is a marble wholesaler. Acme Fish is behind them. There are two laundries, a moving company, a bakery… there isn’t one abandoned or empty building within a multiple block radius of Studio B. Yes, towards Williamsburg there are a couple of empty buildings… that AREN’T surrounded by residential.

    This is the same argument that Fisher tried to make, poorly.

    And if you think the only noise people behind the club hear is talking from the roof, you really, really, really are misinformed. You can stand on Clifford Pl. and hear the music. I can’t imagine what it’s like if you live closer than that.

    Perhaps try actually being familiar with the neighborhood first?

  11. neighborhood threat on Thu, 10th Jul 2008 11:56 pm
  12. please name one underutilized building on banker street. i can name every single business in every single building on that street – can you? there is a marble showroom and a tomato wholesaler and a scenic design shop and a laundry and a plumber and a bakery and and and and and. there is one building i believe is not utilized right across the street from studio b but it is a small one and I’m not 100% sure that it’s not utilized because its entrance is on franklin and I never go that way during the day.

    please tell the residents of clifford place that there’s “no way” they can hear the club. you can stand on the street on clifford place when the club is operational and hear the music. i can’t imagine what it’s like to live with my bedroom 20 feet from the back wall.

    i don’t even know why i’m arguing because you don’t know the neighborhood.

    why give the hard time about getting a permit? they can get a permit when they clean up their act. if you know what they should do, then their high-priced lobbyist knows what they should do, and when they do it consistently for, say, six months, then they can go back to CB1 and show they’ve been a good neighbor and get their permit.

    in any event, nothing we do matters. they built an entire roof deck without a permit, they built an apartment without a permit, they have people on the second floor without a C of O, they certainly aren’t zoned to be a residence… and nothing happens to them.

    why do you care so much if the club continues to operate? our agendas are wide open. what’s yours?

  13. calyercooze on Fri, 11th Jul 2008 12:18 pm
  14. First of all, music is played on the rooftop. And “chatter” is not what you get when there are 100+ people on a roof with music. Secondly, there has been no move towards enclosing the roof since the club opened it in May. The enclosure should have been in place at that time, if they actually gave a shit about how they effected the neighbors on the other three sides of the block. So while that sounds like a great idea, it’s not a reality.

    My bedroom is about 20 feet from the back wall of the club. I’d be happy to have anyone into my home so they can hear just how loud it is for themselves.

    Thirdly, anyone who comes to this area for a show at Studio B is the responsiblity of the club, not the neighbors. Therefore, it’s the problem of the club to take care of the issues. I personally have tried to speak to the club about the problems via email a couple times — but the conversation is ended when the problems are brought up.

    If they can’t do simple things that any club in NYC has to do — like soundproof, follow the rules of the DOB and FDNY, or police the area for trash, vandalism, open containers, drug use, and noise as their patrons come to and from the place, then they certainly shouldn’t be rewarded with a license to operate until the prove that they can run a nightclub responsibly.

  15. seanisthegood on Tue, 15th Jul 2008 2:58 pm
  16. Wow. Let me first say I attended the public hearing with the intent of speaking against Studio B. I live around the corner at 112 Calyer Street. I am sometimes annoyed by bottles left on the street the day after a big show or party. That’s about it. After hearing the testimony of the six people that spoke I realized Studio B needs some defense. First, I live behind the building. My kitchen window overlooks the back of the building. I could watch them build the roof. My bedroom affords me a partial view of the back. Yes, I can hear a slight base thump, but this “chatter” and roof music have never, ever been loud enough to cause any sleep issues for me. I find backyard get together of people that live on Clifford Place and Calyer street to be louder than the club. Second, the club does NOT operate every night. Usually there are about three shows a week. A majority of nights the clubs doors are closed. This is far from a constant nuisance. Is it not acceptable for a night club to stay open until four on a Friday or Saturday? Third, Studio B is not just a drug haven, it is a world renown establishment that brings in acts from all over the world. Recently the New York Times wrote a on Hercules and the Love Affair’s debut show at Studio B.

  17. missheather on Wed, 16th Jul 2008 4:17 am
  18. … the roof is on fire!
    April 07, 2008

    Have you heard…? It’s true. Studio B is opening a rooftop garden on May 2, just in time for Spring! To celebrate the event we’re planning a blow-out, throw-down featuring Brazilian Girls, Spank Rock, The Rub, DJ Roxy Cottontail and more tba! Tickets on sale today. So come join us as we unveil our Greenpoint oasis.

    (From Studio B’s own web site)

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