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Bar Seeking to Replace Bed-Stuy Favorite Do or Dine Denied Liquor License

By Camille Bautista | February 2, 2016 1:51pm
 A new bar is planned in the former location of Do or Dine on Bedford Avenue between Quincy Street and Lexington Avenue.
A new bar is planned in the former location of Do or Dine on Bedford Avenue between Quincy Street and Lexington Avenue.
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DNAinfo/Camille Bautista

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A new bar is slated to take over the former spot of Bed-Stuy favorite Do or Dine — but it needs the backing of the state after its liquor license application was rejected by the local community board.

The unnamed watering hole planned for 1108 Bedford Ave. between Quincy Street and Lexington Avenue, will be a “community-oriented bar with a cozy atmosphere,” according to co-owner Roni Dotan.

“We’re looking to open a local, neighborhood establishment that’s comfortable for everybody to stop in and have a bite of food and some drinks,” Dotan told Brooklyn’s Community Board 3 on Monday night.

Dotan and his co-owners have operated four other bars in Brooklyn, he said, including Lucky Dog in Williamsburg. The group heading the new venture includes Salvatore Fristensky, William Mackin, Brenden Jones and Steven Pandolfi.

Sample menu items range from $5 to $16 and include deviled eggs, cheese plates and salads, along with a variety of sandwich choices like mozzarella, smoked chicken, tuna melt and brisket.

The bar will also serve “unique craft beers and cocktails,” the owners said.

Dotan said that he and his colleagues are friends with the former owners of Do or Dine, which shuttered in September. The restaurant closed due to financial concerns, among other reasons,  its owner Justin Warner told Grub Street.

The new business will have space for about 74 people, keep Do or Dine’s covered back yard and the owners plan to build out their own custom bar, they said.

Operating under the name Regal Beagle LLC, the bar’s representatives went before the community board this week to request a letter of support for a liquor license with a 4 a.m. closing time.

They were met with opposition from board members and residents, who were concerned about an oversaturation of bars in the area.

Joe Gonzalez, who lives in the neighborhood, worried about the effect of having several establishments in the area “pushing alcohol,” while board member Felicia Alexander said the new business would not cater to long-time residents.

“I think what we as a board need to recognize is this establishment is going to be built in Bed-Stuy, but it’s not for Bed-Stuy,” Alexander said.

“It’s not for the ones who are born and bred here, it’s for the ones who are here two years, eight years, who are coming in. They’re not looking to embrace the community and welcome us in, this is so that they have a spot to go hang out in the community to be here.”

Other attendees raised concerns about the amount of local hires the bar would have, as well as how welcoming it would be toward those from the neighborhood.

Dotan stressed that the business would hire locally and host an open house, as well as address any complaints from customers or residents.

“I hope that you will come to our bar, it is for you, it’s for everybody and I hope that you will get something out of it and you’ll give it a chance,” Dotan said.

“If it’s not your scene, that’s okay too, but I hope to see all of you there.

“We’re not opening for a specific person…there is no one specific demographic.”

Some attendees came out in support of the new business, saying they’ve frequented the owners’ other bars in Brooklyn. One woman added that one of their spots was her “Cheers,” with a “nice, community feeling.”

CB 3's full board voted 25-1 with one abstention against the planned bar based on the community’s concerns.

The community board’s vote is advisory and the State Liquor Authority has the final say in granting liquor license applications.