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Williamsburg's Videology Sues Landlord to Rewind Eviction

By Gwynne Hogan | July 20, 2017 4:42pm
 Videology added a bar and screening room in 2011 to keep the waning video rental store afloat.
Videology added a bar and screening room in 2011 to keep the waning video rental store afloat.
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DNAinfo/Heather Holland

WILLIAMSBURG — Video rental shop turned theater and bar Videology Bar & Cinema is facing eviction for a series of "petty allegations" like a dirty sidewalk, noise complaints, and graffiti on its front gate, according to a lawsuit geared to rewinding the eviction.

Videology owners Wendy Chamberlain and James Leet, who live above the shop at 308 Bedford Ave., argue that the landlord — 308 Grand Realty LLC backed by George Newshan — is trying to hit eject on their business and break their lease, in a Brooklyn Supreme Civil Court lawsuit filed Tuesday.

"We're simply trying to maintain this local mom and pop business. They pay all their rent. They're good tenants and they're trying to do the best they can," Kevin Sean O'Donoghue, the lawyer for Videology, said. "To them this is their home and this is their buisness."

Callers have logged around 40 complaints for noise dating back to 2013, according to city data, as well three complaints for a dirty sidewalk, records show.

The lawsuit, first reported on by the The Real Deal, argues that it was the landlord who called 311 on Videology in an effort to harm the business and that city agencies later found the complaints were baseless.

"Clearly, these are petty allegations," the lawsuit charges. "This is bad faith and prejudicial. This is nothing more than harassment by [the] Landlord."

Videology opened on Bedford Avenue in the mid-2000s as a video rental shop, years before the street was home to corporate giants like Whole Foods and Apple.

Later, as online streaming whipped out video rental stores across the country, the owners kept the business afloat by adding a bar and screening room.

The landlord's attorney Konstantine Baltzis didn't return a request for comment immediately.