Proposed rooftop bar stirring controversy in Brooklyn

Tuesday, May 02, 2017 05:15PM
Sandra Bookman reports on the controversy over a hotel rooftop in Brooklyn.

WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn - New York City's changing landscape is nothing new, but there is a new controversy brewing over what to do with a hotel rooftop in Brooklyn.

A proposed rooftop bar in Williamsburg has some residents worried.

In a neighborhood where new construction sprouts faster than trees in a forest, one more new building wouldn't seem to be that big a deal. But the Pod Hotel Brooklyn currently being built on Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg is at the center of a controversy over two planned rooftop bars that some say could mean more noise and drunken revelers in the neighborhood.

"I think, another bar in Williamsburg?" sculptor Gerbo said. "I mean, how many do we really really need?"

Gerbo is an artist who's lived and worked in Williamsburg for the last 25 years, and he and nearly 400 others have signed a petition asking the state liquor authority to deny the hotel's request for a license for the rooftop venues.

They point to issues and complaints at other hotels in the city run by the same group, as neighbors at the Jane Hotel in the West Village have cited public intoxication, noise from singing and loud conversations, and damage to property from public urination and vomit.

But not everyone in the once-sleepy enclave-turned-popular hipster haven views the planned bars as a problem.

"I have restaurants all around me," area resident Ashley Lisi said. "In my opinion, it comes with the territory of living in the city."

The company hasn't commented so far, but residents will be able to voice their concerns at a liquor authority hearing later this week.