Monday, January 7, Community Board 3 held its first monthly meeting for the New Year.
Some of the evenings highlights included heated debates around petitions for liquor licenses by three businesses opening in Bed-Stuy; outgoing City Councilman Al Vann shared heartfelt words about his tenure and how far the community has come since he first took office; and the newly elected Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Assemblyman Walter Mosley both were given a rousing welcome as they begin their new posts in the new congressional year.
Community Board 3 Chairperson Henry Butler opened the meeting by introducing a few newly elected board officers including the new Vice-Chair Tremaine Wright, the new 2nd Vice-Chair C. Doris Pinn, the new Treasurer Waleed Cope, and the new Secretary Aurora Brice.
ACKNOLWEDGEMENT OF ELECTED OFFICIALS:
- City Councilman Al Vann made announcement that this is his last year serving in his post, thanked the community, pointed to a few of the greatest strides he’s seen take place since his tenure. Crowd gave him standing ovation.
- District Leader Robert Cornegy, Jr., (56th A.D.). Announced he will host a community forum on violence to discuss gun violence on Saturday, January 12, 2:00pm – 6:00pm, at Magnolia Tree House, 677 Lafayette Street. At the meeting, they will form a follow-up group of residents who will travel to Albany for a caucus
- Maria Matos from the office of Assemblyman Espinal (54th District): She said the assemblyman now represents part of Bed-Stuy. Wanted to welcome residents to drop by 840 Jamaica Avenue, corner of Crescent St. for any questions or concerns; announced that the assemblyman will be holding a Town Hall on Thursday, Jan. 31, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Catherine Church to discuss public safety, transportation and the environment.
- District Leader Renee Collymore, (57th A.D.) announced she will be hosting field trip to Brooklyn Criminal Court for the young tenants of Lafayette Gardens on January 24, leaving at 3:15 p.m., so they can learn all about criminal court system. She is looking for additional chaperones. If interested, please call 917-353-2990.
- Assemblyman Walter Mosley, 57th was present to say Happy New Year; was received with congratulatory applause; reminded residents to look out for and support Bed-Stuy resident Ishaq Williams (#11), an up-and-coming rising star football player for Notre Dame.
- A representative for Senator Eric Adams reminded participants that Adams plans to run for Brooklyn Borough President. Also, Adams will be sponsoring two buses to Albany to experience the black and Hispanic caucus. “But call your district leader first to see if they have space. If not, call 718-284-4700 to book a space on their bus.”
- City Councilmember Darlene Mealy announced that very Thurs at 7:00 p.m., her office is offering free immigration legal counseling through June. Also, her office will host a neighborhood technical services clinic to explain how your CBO can effectively apply for and receive grants on January 30, at 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., at her office, located at 1757 Union Street. For more info, call her office at 718-953-3097. Also, her office is organizing a bus trip ($20) to the Black and Hispanic Caucus meeting
- Congressman Hakeem Jeffries was present to thank the community and say Happy New Year; was received with congratulatory applause
I. PUBLIC HEARINGS
A. The Economic Development Committee held a public hearing on behalf of Divine Bar & Grill, Inc., located at 896 Broadway (two blocks off of Lewis Ave), which requested a letter of support for an alcohol beverage control license. Owner Eric Goldspiel presented:
- Small pub, neighborhood community bar serving about 25 people
- Will serve burgers and other bar food
- Open now just for lunch, but after receives liquor license will also open from 4:00pm – 2:00am
Decision: There were questions regarding owner’s knowledge of the neighborhood, length of stay, motive for opening. Board voted to approve
B. The Economic Development Committee held a public hearing on behalf of Marcus Vineyard, located at 417 Marcus Garvey Blvd, which requested a letter of support for an alcohol beverage control license. Owner Tarnesshia McNair presented:
- Restaurant is a brownstone conversion, small restaurant and lounge
- Will be open m-w, 5-12midnight, Thurs, 5-1; Fri, 5-2.
- Has an outdoor backyard garden; will have a few live jazz bands, plan to have a brunch with live music, also open mic and spoken word;
- Would like to partner with other business for charitable events and will also rent out the space
- Has 8 cameras for security, will hold 74 people
Decision: There were questions regarding fire exit from back. Board voted to approve.
C. The Economic Development Committee held a public hearing on behalf of Beast of Bourbon, located at 710 Myrtle Avenue (between Spencer and Walworth), which requested a letter of support for an alcohol beverage control license. Owner Sureshan Pather presented:
- Will be a BBQ restaurant. About 5.5 thousand sq feet.
- Same owners of Black Swan on Bedford Avenue, which has received very high marks with no reported incidents or problems
- Owner has been a resident of Bed-Stuy since 2005
Decision: There was a question about exact location. Board voted to approve.
D. The Health and Social Services Committee held a public hearing on behalf of The Institute for Community Living’s request for a letter of support to build a new facility next to an existing one at 44 Lewis Ave (at Myrtle Ave). Andrew Knox, the building’s architect and Baraka Smith, head of community relations, presented:
- The facility will service as affordable, transitional housing for people living with mental disabilities (people who have aged out of foster care but have a mental health diagnosis), from the ages of 18-26 years
- There will be up to 43 units of supportive housing; two new buildings-- one for 18-26 year olds, and other building 26 and over.
- There will be 24/7 on site building management and is licensed by NYS of Mental Health
- The facility will provide for its residents vocational training. Will have access to medical advisors and is temporary housing for persons that can eventually will be able to move out and sufficiently care for themselves
- Landmarks Committee Evelyn Collier announced there will be a public hearing for the Bed-Stuy Historic District on January 15, at 10:30 a.m., at 1 Center St. Please come out and provide support (and arrive by 10:15). Also, Stuyvesant Expansion is looking to receive final designation by early spring. Next week, tenants in that area should be receiving a letter. Please fill out and return so that can complete a vote. Next meeting is next Monday
- (No other updates; just announcements of next committee meetings)
- There will be a FAFSA workshop at Restoration Plaza to learn how to apply for financial aid for college on January 23, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- The newly opened Simplicity Wine Bar and Café, located at 310 Malcolm X Boulevard, is offering a free coffee Tuesday through Thurs, from 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. with the purchase of a breakfast meal.
- Tremain Wright, owner of Common Ground, announced the coffee bar will host a reception for John Sky Davidson, a graphic artist; does graffiti, poetry and mixed media, this Friday, January 11, from 6-10pm. Please feel free to come through to meet the artist; there will be a raffle.
- Demetrius Mills, a representative for the Brooklyn/Queens Land Trust brought to the community’s attention that although BQLT is doing well, the ones in the Bronx and Manhattan have gone bankrupt. Therefore, in order to sustain BQLT, they are asking that the community please join their board. “Please join our board and help us become a greater organization,” said Mills. “We own 32 community gardens and will be adding two more onto that list.” For more information on the Brooklyn/Queens Land Trust, visit. www.bqlt.org. The organization’s first annual board meeting will be April 6.
Community Board 3 meets the first Monday of each month, 7:00 p.m., in the basement level of Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton Street.