Despite staunch opposition from its , , having their liquor license application and even , Kemistry Lounge is forging ahead and plans to open in the end of Sept.
The owners of Kemistry Lounge, the upscale restaurant/lounge being built on Flatbush Ave., between Prospect Place and St. Marks Avenue, filed their liquor license application with the State Liquor Authority this week and told Patch that they plan to open their 245-person capacity space as planned.
Co-owner James Brown said that they have never planned to throw in the towel, even though their landlord, 260 Flatbush Realty LLC, was threatening eviction.
“We never stopped being in action, we just had to work things out with their lawyers,” Brown said. “The plan is to open as a restaurant/lounge as we intended.”
Their application to the SLA is requesting a license for bottle service, but Brown said that they may be serving the bottles a little differently to make for a safer atmosphere.
“In light of the incident in the Manhattan night club we may still serve the full amount of what’s in a bottle but may serve it in a different container,” Brown told Patch on Tuesday, referencing the recent brawl between singer Chris Brown (no relation) and rapper Drake where multiple people were injured by bottles thrown at the club W.iP. “But again, you typically don’t have issues in bar/restaurant/lounge settings. Bottle service type issues tend to happen in club settings.”
Brown said that their establishment will not be a club, despite how the community interprets Kemistry's size, hours and request for bottle service.
“I think the community got things misconstrued with the size of the venue and the urban entity of Kemistry,” Brown said. “All they heard was club, club, club, club. But we are not a club.”
The community group Prospect Place Neighbors — composed of the people who live on the street where Kemistry’s rear glass façade opens on to and who formed their group to ensure the lounge’s presence is appropriate for the community — are still concerned with the lounge's request for bottle service, the late hours and the glass windows, which PPN believes will let loud music out on to their residential street.
Peter Adelman, Prospect Place Neighbor’s lawyer, said that they are ready to take measures to protect their community’s quality of life if Kemistry ignores their requests for compromise.
“We are dismayed at Kemistry’s refusal to cooperate with area residents and we are ready to fight this,” Adelman said. “I am prepared to respond appropriately and vigorously to their application to the SLA."
During the Community Board 6 meeting in April, Kemistry Lounge’s application was rejected because Brown and his partners did not want to compromise on those three sticking points and explained that they do not have control over the glass façade that opens on to Prospect Place, for their landlord doesn’t want it to be "bricked up," which was one of the community's suggestions.
“We continue to think that the club is totally inappropriate because of its planned size, hours of operation, its proximity to preschools, and its insistence in providing hard liquor bottle service,” Adelman explained.
Mariya Rosberg, a PPN member and resident of Prospect Place, also said that they will continue their opposition to Kemistry Lounge’s plan to open with bottle service and with not making changes to the rear exit their street.
“I think we just have to keep doing what we are doing, which is telling our concerns and working with local politicians and community organizations,” Rosberg said. “If it works out that Kemistry is in place and we can compromise with these sticking points, we will be okay with it.”
Rosberg said that she is not against bars in general opening in her neighborhood, but she is against Kemistry’s proposed “extreme form of night life."
“We are not rabid anti-bar-anti-development, we just want to keep everything sane and safe in our neighborhood,” Rosberg said. “There are standards they have to conform to in order to make this work.”
Brown said that they want to work with the community, but they cannot change the glass windows on Prospect Place due to their landlord’s wishes. Instead, they most likely tint the glass and sound proof it so nothing can be seen or heard from the street.
“We are going to be a place for the community and be an upscale lounge for the neighborhood,” Brown said. “We’re interested in seeing this project through and expect to open end of September.”