Today’s news:

It’s ‘Station’ to station at liquorless music hall

for The Brooklyn Paper

The self-proclaimed “world’s first steampunk bar” is caught in a dystopian bureaucratic maw right out of the Clifford Simak sci-fi classic with which it shares a name.

Way Station, which hopes to open as a live-music venue on booming Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, remains without a liquor license, waylaid in a Byzantine administrative limbo by a notoriously circuitous permit process.

“It’s Kafka meets Catch 22,” owner Andy Heidel (pictured) said, describing his six-month, one-problem-leads-to-another adventure to gain the appropriate building and liquor approvals.

“Fortunately, I haven’t woken up as a giant cockroach … yet.”

For now, the bar hosts one-off events, for which it gets a one-night liquor license — such as Thursday night’s raucous New Year’s Eve bash and fundraiser. But that’s the best Heidel can do until he gets a full liquor license, which is now expected by March. A contingency plan to open without booze (Heidel planned to serve “mocktails”) was kiboshed by the bands, most of whom didn’t think patrons would show up at a concert in a dry hall.

But that would be a mistake, as Way Station’s survival is crucial to the neighborhood. Aside from being the first live venue on this rejuvenated section of Washington Avenue, the bar would become the only true gigspace in Prospect Heights if Freddy’s Bar and Backroom is demolished to make room for the Atlantic Yards project, an increasingly likely scenario.

Heidel, a former science fiction book publicist, is seeking help to survive what will be the bar’s booze-less period, which could last three months. He’s got to start paying rent, as saved up funds have been spent.

Way Station (683 Washington Ave. between Prospect Place and St. Marks Avenue in Prospect Heights). New Year’s Eve party featuring the funk, pop, disco stylings of Discovery (with booze), Dec. 31 at 8 pm. No cover.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

MyLittleEye from Victorian London - UK says:
They may have to go with a Prohibition theme for a while.
or why not hold a few Tea Dances like they used to have here in the UK. Think Lyon's Corner House. - Very genteel
Dec. 31, 2009, 10:23 am
Ace from Cemetery World says:
Bring back Simak! He is too good of an author to be out of print!

Good Luck getting your liquor license. Remember: no crap on tap!
Jan. 4, 2010, 1:09 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Links