Today’s news:

The ‘Union’ is preserved

The Brooklyn Paper

Controversial Park Slope bar Union Hall moved closer to getting its liquor license renewed as Community Board 6 overwhelmingly voted in support of the watering hole on Wednesday night.

The motion was in stark contrast to a vote last week by the CB6 Land Use committee that urged the state to deny the extension of the license, which expires on May 31.

The full board was won over by Union Hall’s owners’ willingness to meet with its neighbors on Union Street — an openness to mediation not shared by the bar’s foes, according to board members.

Also persuasive was a video that appeared to show one of Union Hall’s staunchest critics calling in a fraudulent 911 report that the bar was overcrowded.

“The neighbors did not try to mediate in good faith,” said Jeff Strabone, a board member. “If I had a problem with a business, I would not refuse to meet with the owner.”

But some members sided with residents, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, who said that the bar was inappropriate for their drowsy block because of the nightly noise stemming from the flow of patrons.

“This is a problem no matter how good or nice the owner is,” said Bob Levine.

This is the second contentious CB6 deliberation about a bar on a primarily residential block.

Last month, the board supported a liquor application for a raw bar on a residential block of Hoyt Street, despite residents’ protests.

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Michael from Park Slope says:
Mike,
nice report although calling Union Street between 5th and 6th avenues a "drowsy block" is not correct. Have you ever been on the block? It is one of the busiest in the slope.
thanks,
Michael
May 16, 2008, 9:29 am
Jack from Park Slope says:
Also, you fail to mention that the board not only rejected last week's vote by a resounding 26 to 4 but then actually started a new motion to "approve" Union Hall's efforts for a liquor license. It was quite the turnaround from the witch hunt last week, that's for sure.

You also fail to mention that last week's vote was led by the owner of the Brazen Head bar which is in direct competition with Union Hall's sister bar, Floyd. That man should've excused himself from voting, but instead, actually led the charge against. Wow.
May 16, 2008, 1:02 pm
Mike McLaughlin from The Brooklyn Paper says:
Take a look at our earlier article on Union Hall about the allegations of conflict of interest on the board.

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/31/19/31_19_union_splits_board.html
May 16, 2008, 5:26 pm
Mike McLaughlin from The Brooklyn Paper says:
Regarding the two other points, yes, I've been on that block many times. I described the street as drowsy based on the description from several people who live on the block that say it used to be quiet at night before Union Hall opened.

Although I didn't give a tally of the vote, the article says the board "overwhelmingly voted in support of the watering hole."
May 16, 2008, 5:50 pm

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