Park Slope Builds a Restaurant by Crowd Sourcing

03/30/2011 1:19 PM |

The backyard where a hoops crowd may stay out late on weekends, inviting the ire of incensed neighbors
  • The backyard where a “hoops” crowd may stay out late on weekends, inviting the ire of incensed neighbors

OK, OK, let’s put matters of racial anxiety away, and get back to the unsexy matters surrounding a proposed club on the Park Slope-Prospect Heights border…like, operating hours. And menu choices. The owner has been making concessions and compromises in the face of community resistance, but it’s not enough: this is Park Slope we’re talking about, and if the owner isn’t going to suck up his investment as a loss and walk away (which, duh, he totally should), every one in the area should have input as to how to shape the business.

The Park Slope Patch reports:

Prime 6 owner Akiva Ofshtein agreed to a series of compromises—including sound proofing the backyard and ditching plans for an outdoor bar if the community agrees to his proposed hours of operation. Ofshtein has also retooled the restaurant concept, now aiming to open a restaurant that focuses more on “local meats and lots of vegetables,” opposed to the original concept of a “steakhouse” or “California kitchen.”

The neighborhood not only knows what’s best for the menu, but also what the hours of operation should be, suggesting the bar close a few hours earlier than the law allows, and close their patio an hour before nearby competitors. According to Patch, “Members of the community and [community board] maintained that earlier hours were plenty late for Park Slope’s residential crowd.” If you’re not building a restaurant that serves “lots of vegetables” for the people who live right around your building, why are you starting a business at all?

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2 Comment

  • Love your style, but facts do matter. Ofshtein changed his modest description of his menu because he doesn’t know what he’s going to be doing, cuisine and style-wise, and someone asked him (out of curiosity, but also because it is weird and unnerving that about a month from opening he doesn’t know what kind of restaurant he will be having). No one told him what to do, and he has repeatedly stated that he will not be having a sports bar. Of course, we’d all be up in arms if it was a sports bar or the gentleman’s club it was once RUMORED to be. He added the ‘healthy’ and “kid-friendly’ comments as an aside, ruminating.

    As for closing hours of the BACKYARD ,his two closest neighbors, one of which would be a direct competitor of a slightly upscale restaurant, close theirs at 11pm, per their management. They all keep serving til 2am, not 4. The difference? Prime 6 has a downstairs lounge that is geared toward drinking late.

    Just the facts. I don’t think he is crowd sourcing any more than anyone would who wants to attract local clients rather than concentrating on attendees at the Barclay’s arena.

  • Why would you, or anyone else without a financial stake in the business, find it so “unnerving” that he hasn’t decided what he’ll be serving at his own restaurant yet? And why is it such a given that you’d be up in arms if a sports bar were to open in your neighborhood?

    I mean, I realize the answer is that your sense of self-worth is gleaned exclusively from the most superficial aspects your surroundings, and that the very thought of living near people who are — gasp — not *exactly* like you is horrifying, not to mention a potential source of embarrassment should anyone come visit you from some ostensibly cooler other place, but, you know… I guess I’d sort of like to hear your side. Sort of.