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Controversial Kemistry Lounge to Make Another Try for Liquor License

 The embattled night club is making another appearance before the State Liquor Authority this week.
Controversial Kemistry Lounge Makes Another Try for Liquor License
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PARK SLOPE — A controversial nightclub that neighbors have been battling for more than a year will try once again to win a liquor license this week.

Kemistry Lounge, a combination bar and restaurant proposed to open on 260 Flatbush Ave., is scheduled to go before the State Liquor Authority on Wednesday.

Neighbors started sounding the alarm about the nightclub in early 2012, and time hasn't quelled their anxiety about the proposed night spot, said Peter Adelman, a lawyer for the group Prospect Place Neighbors.

The club, which would have bottle service, would have a back entrance on a tree-lined residential block of Prospect Place. Neighbors worry about Kemistry's late hours and size — at one point backers said they would play live music until 2 a.m. and that the club could hold 225 people.

"It’s a very very strange quasi-residential location for a club that's 5,000 square feet," Adelman said. "You could really expect to see that in the Meatpacking District. The rear literally abuts a person's house."

Local elected officials agreed with those concerns. State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, Assemblywoman Joan Millman and City Councilman Stephen Levin all wrote to the SLA on neighbors' behalf.

Community Board 6 rejected Kemistry's liquor license application in April 2012. Activity at the club's proposed Flatbush Avenue location seemed to stop for several months, and in July, the landlord reportedly sued Kemistry for back rent.

But in August 2012, Kemistry owner James Brown vowed to keep going, telling Patch that the community had misinterpreted his establishment as a nightclub when it was really a combination bar, restaurant and lounge.

Brown did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Adelman said Prospect Place Neighbors isn't anti-bar, but the group has serious concerns about the size and scope of Kemistry's operation.

"We're not this temperance league at all, we like bars, we like restaurants, we go out to them," Adelman said. "Having another bar, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but having this one is very bad."

The State Liquor Authority meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday July 17 at 317 Lenox Ave.