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Inwood Bar's Flashy Opening Night Draws Crowds, Complaints

By Nigel Chiwaya | August 9, 2013 10:09am
  Party-goers flocked to the opening of District 12 on West 204th Street, but crowds and lights annoyed locals.
District 12 Opens in Inwood
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INWOOD — A new Inwood hotspot rolled out the red carpet for its grand opening to the delight of revelers and the chagrin of locals.

District 12, a brand new watering hole at 4892 Broadway near West 204th Street, drew dozens of revelers to an extravagant opening night Wednesday — with lines of eager patrons stretching down the street.

The venue bills itself as a beer garden, whiskey bar and steakhouse on its website. The event even featured a red carpet and spotlights, locals said.

The event drew praise from party-goers on social media.

"District 12 is taking over Tonight!!" wrote Twitter user @KingCesaa.

"Come show love & support #District12 it's really amazing," tweeted user @BelleMels.

But while the opening was popular with revelers, locals sung a different tune. Several residents voiced frustrations over the lines, which several people said blocked a nearby bus stop, and others were annoyed by the spotlights, which they said shined into their apartments during the evening.

"It started around 7:10 p.m. with the strobe lights shining into our windows," said resident Inger Tilsen-Breton, who lives directly across the street from District 12. "I mean really blinding rotating flickering lights, helicopter search-light strength, which would directly shine into our windows every minute for about two hours."

Several residents took their complaints online, posting to Twitter or to the popular Inwood Community Group Facebook page.

District 12's location — just two blocks north of the controversial Dyckman Street restaurant strip — has caused several residents to fear that restaurant would bring the same rowdy attitude to West 204th Street.

The owners of the restaurant tried to allay those fears in June, telling the New York Daily News that the District 12 would be nothing like Dyckman Street. However, several residents still feel that the restuarant made a bad first impression.

"Sigh. Thought we were getting a fun steakhouse/whiskey bar, but we get a clubby thing with silly lights. Come on, @district12nyc." tweeted @cicutoface.

The restaurant's manager was not made available when DNAinfo New York visited District 12 Thursday, and requests for comment went unreturned.

City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez responded to the concerns of residents Thursday, posting on Facebook that his office had reached out to the police.

"My office has called the 34th Precinct about this case, alerting them to the concerns of the surrounding residents," Rodriguez wrote. "We will be following up as well."