Community negotiates with Kemistry Lounge
by Heather Senison
May 23, 2012 | 1782 views | 2 2 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Park Slope area is on high alert about bars moving into the area that are hoping to catch patrons as they leave the new Barclay's Arena for a nightcap before they head home.

At a recent Community Board 6 meeting, attention turned to the Kemistry Lounge on Flatbush Avenue between Prospect Place and Saint Marks Avenue, set to be the largest night club in Brooklyn with the ability to host 225 patrons at a time, with a dance floor, disc jockey booth, two floors and a bottle service.

The community board released a four page resolution listing 16 stipulations they requested Kemistry Lounge abide by, with the hopes of preventing the area around the Barclay's Center from becoming a bar crawl site.

While the club's owner James Brown agreed to most of the stipulations with the hopes of obtaining a liquor license, he said in a phone interview Tuesday that he does not want to jeopardize the competitive nature of his business.

“The subject location is an unusually large commercial space with a primary entrance on a busy, commercial corridor and a rear exit on an exclusively residential street,” the CB6 resolution states.

To prevent the area from getting out of control, stipulations Brown agreed to include monitoring outside smoking areas and placing them only on Flatbush Avenue, and accepting deliveries only on Flatbush Avenue.

The club also agreed to stimulate traffic flow on Sixth Avenue, Prospect Place and Saint Marks Avenue, by making sure cars don't double-park there and taxi services don't pick up patrons or idle on those streets.

However, concerns are spreading among local legislators, several of which sent letters to the State Liquor Authority requesting the agency take a close look at Kemistry Lounge.

In a letter, Assemblywoman Joan Millman wrote that she is worried about the club's bottle service and closing times.

“Bottle service drastically increases patrons' incentive to drink and promotes dangerous levels of drunkenness,” Millman wrote.

She also said the club is on a residential block and is located near two daycare centers, and therefore “a set of reasonable closing times must be established.”

But Brown said if he closes bottle service two hours before he closes the club, as the Community Board requested, he may lose business to other bars in the area.

For example, he said, if the bar closes at midnight, the bottle service would end at 10 p.m., which is when a lot of bar-goers leave their houses to go out.

“Bottle service is a tremendous money maker, so it impacts the business plan,” he said. “In some cases 12 o'clock at night is when some folks are just getting to the location.”

He said he is willing to close the club at 3 a.m. so closing times among the bars in the area are scattered between 2 and 4 a.m. to avoid a mass exodus of partygoers into the area.

Another request of the Community Board was to “brick up” the glass entrance to the club. Brown said he does not own the building and the entrance also leads to the condo's on the upper floors, but he would speak with the landlord and is willing to put tinted or smoked glass there so the activities in the club can't be seen from the street.

As for the excessive drinking Millman said can result from a bottle service, Brown said his staff is prepared to keep patrons under control.

“We have bartenders that are trained and fully aware of how to cut folks off and monitor alcohol consumption so we can avoid these types of issues of over-consumption,” he said.

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May 24, 2012
If bottle service is so important, how is every other bar in the neighborhood able to thrive without it?
May 24, 2012
bring on the ladies anytime! park slopers had enough control of this neighborhood for too long. there is nothing wrong with a little bit of fun and booze. if you don't like it, just move!