Quicklink: “Brunch War” Bogus?

If this piece by Brownstoner is to be believed this would appear to be the case. Tom Burrows, the so-called malefactor in this “war” notes:

…there is no war on brunch in Williamsburg and Greenpoint—this is way of selling papers

Indeed it is. It also is worth mentioning the manager of Five Leaves (whose establishment can be seen in the above two photographs) saw fit not to comment for this tome. No worries, she had plenty to say to the Greenpoint Gazette about a proposed pedestrian plaza which would abut her establishment:

Five Leaves’ Kathy Mecham pointed to the number of public inebriates in McCarren Park particularly on the Lorimer side. “To take what has become a blossoming small business area and create additional unregulated seating would only escalate the problem…

I can draw no other conclusion than it is perfectly acceptable for Five Leave’s patrons to congregate on and obstruct our sidewalks (public space) but if public space were actually allotted to and used by the public (which of course includes our “public inebriates”*), well, that’s another matter altogether. I think I get it now: some members of the public are more entitled to use (and capitalize off of) public space than others— at least when a profit-motive is at play. “Bums” are bad for business.

Photo Credits: The latter two images are of Nights & Weekends which is located across the street from Five Leaves (at 1 Bedford Avenue). As you can see they are operating a sidewalk cafe. Do they have a permit to do this? No. Have they been made aware that this is illegal? Absolutely. Oh yeah, did I mention this establishment is owned by the same people who own Five Leaves? It is. Fascinating, yes? In any case (and in closing), here’s some footage of this establishment from one such night on a weekend.

I’d hazard to guess they won’t be winning the “Good Neighbor” award anytime soon…

*Most of whom, it should be noted, are Polish and have substance abuse and/or mental health issues. The homeless problem at McCarren Park was extant long before Five Leaves hit the scene. I wonder why they are (supposedly) an issue now?


2 Comments on Quicklink: “Brunch War” Bogus?

  1. d on Wed, 9th May 2012 10:31 am
  2. They’re already drafting legislation to change the law: http://brooklynpaper.com/stories/35/19/dtg_levinwaronbrunchbill_2012_05_11_bk.html

  3. missheather on Wed, 9th May 2012 7:25 pm
  4. Good. Hate the law, change it. Don’t conduct a smear campaign on the person (Tom Burrows) who has seen fit to enforce it (and many other things you would find of interest, d). This is what Mr. Short has done.

    The owners of 5 Leaves (and Nights & Weekends) are hardly being represented honestly. I know this because I have actually attended their liquor license hearings. The most pertinent being the owner(s) of 5 Leaves applying for a transfer of the liquor license for Nights & weekends a couple months ago. During this meeting (which, if my memory is correct, Mr. Short was present) he has advised that the “seating” installed there (without the sanction of a sidewalk cafe permit) was illegal. His response was basically that everyone else violates the law, so why shouldn’t he? This did not go over well.

    This was somehow lost/forgotten by Mr. Short. Call it cognitive dissonance. I prefer to call it yellow journalism with a decidedly Libertarian and politically opportunistic (READ: good ol’ Brooklyn machine politics courtesy of Vito Lopez, Steve Levin and Marty Markowitz) flavor.

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