Saturday, October 23, 2010

Freddy's signs lease at 5th Avenue and 17th Street, 1.6 miles from previous location; next step: official approvals

According to reports from Eater and OTBKB (which got the press release I didn't get yet), the operators of Freddy's Bar & Backroom, displaced after some 15 years from the northwest corner of Dean Street and Sixth Avenue due to eminent domain (which led to a settlement), aim to reopen 1.6 miles away.

The location: the old Ellis space at 627 5th Avenue near 17th Street, just below the Prospect Expressway in an area some call the South South Slope and others call Greenwood Heights.

According to the press release, Frank Yost, who held the Freddy's lease, is not part of the new bar, which will be run by former manager Donald O'Finn and former bartenders Matt Kuhn (the press release had "Khun," but I think that's a typo) and Matt Kimmett.

What next?

The bar still needs approval from the community board, State Liquor Authority, and the Department of Buildings. "We will still feature our popular videos, art exhibitions, live music and a few surprises," the press release stated. "The 'Chains of Justice' will still grace our bar as a reminder of the power of the community bond."

Initially, those behind Freddy's hoped to reopen near Fourth Avenue and Union Street at the border of Park Slope and Gowanus, but within walking distance of the old Freddy's spot in Prospect Heights.

This new location, with presumably affordable rent, is hardly gentrified and thus to some degree resembles the Prospect Heights of 15 years ago.

By now, Brooklyn neighborhoods close to Manhattan and close to transit have experienced significant gentrification. It's unlikely that Greenwood Heights would follow such a fast trajectory, which means Freddy's may be less vulnerable. But it does have to rebuild its clientele.

2 comments:

  1. There are already three bars on fifth avenue bewteen 15th and 16th street; I have been in that area recently, and it seems to me to be pretty gentrified already. Will the new Freddys be a "different" kind of bar then the other three, and possibly attract a more politically aware clientele?

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