Bar Owners Expand to Bed-Stuy After Prospect Heights Rejection

By Paul DeBenedetto on July 3, 2014 8:44am | Updated on July 3, 2014 8:51am

 The owners of Uncle Barry's in Park Slope (pictured) hit major barriers in their plans to open a bar in Prospect Heights, so they scrapped their plans and moved to Bed-Stuy instead.
The owners of Uncle Barry's in Park Slope (pictured) hit major barriers in their plans to open a bar in Prospect Heights, so they scrapped their plans and moved to Bed-Stuy instead.
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The owners of a well-known Park Slope bar are hoping that Prospect Heights' loss is Bed-Stuy's gain.

Their plan to open up an establishment in Prospect Heights was twice denied by the area's community board last year — but it won the backing of Bed-Stuy's on Tuesday.

Josh Ellis, Jake Trebach and Matthew Wolner — who own the bar Uncle Barry's in Park Slope — abandoned plans to open a new bar last year after receiving pushback from Brooklyn Community Board 8, which represents Prospect Heights and northern Crown Heights.

The board demanded that the bar, Moot Hall, close at 2 a.m. on busy Washington Avenue, which board members said was already too pub-heavy. 

The trio even tried to tailor the bar to the needs of the neighborhood, taking recommendations on what to include in it — but the board wouldn't budge and the three abandoned their proposal, Trebach said.

"It ended up being to no avail," Trebach said. "They ended up running us out of town anyway."

Making matters worse was the fact that the group had already signed a lease at the Washington Avenue location, was paying rent and was preparing to expand.

But Tuesday's vote by Bed-Stuy's CB3 went without a hitch as the board voted 19-7 in favor of supporting the bar after a brief presentation and few questions. There were five abstentions.

"It was fine, especially compared to Community Board 8," Trebach said. "Community Board 8 ended up costing us a lot of money."

The new space is now called Moot Bar and will take over 579 Myrtle Ave., the former home of a chicken restaurant called Brooklyn Bird that closed earlier this year.

Moot Bar will largely model itself on Uncle Barry's, which focuses on craft beer with a full liquor and wine menu. It will fit about 74 people.

The group hopes to start building next week and wants to open by September or October, Trebach said.

"Community Board 3 was very nice to us and we look forward to doing business in Bed-Stuy," he said.

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