Late last year, the music venue Brooklyn Bazaar closed its doors at the historic Polonaise Terrace theater in Greenpoint. The fate of the former space remains in the air, with hints online that it may be converted to something more retail-focused.
But the Brooklyn Bazaar team—owners, Aaron Brudo and Belvy Klein—are wasting no time to refocus their efforts (it was, after all, not the first time they had to close their entertainment space; before the Polonaise, the venue was located elsewhere in Greenpoint with a stint at Jacob Riis beach). According to Brooklyn Paper, they are aiming to open a new food hall style space with room for events not too far away, in Williamsburg's McCarren Park. And, yes, outdoor seating is central to that plan.
Working with the Brooklyn Park’s Department, they hope to convert the red McCarren Park House by Spring 2021. The building was first built in 1911 and currently offers access to public restrooms, a rarity in the area. The future of the restroom (and our bowels) in the interim remains unclear, though there are plans in place to increase and update the number of restroom facilities.
Though many already bring wine to the park for their warm weather picnics, Brudo and Klein will attempt to curry favor with the State Liquor Authority, in order to legally sell alcohol inside their food concept. It is unclear who the participating food vendors or chefs will be for their project, nor whether it will maintain the duo’s Brooklyn Bazaar moniker. The park is steps from hyped brunch spot Five Leaves, bagel shop Frankel's and hip French eatery Sauvage, among many others.
But one thing one can’t help but think about is how this will change the feeling of the park as a whole. Despite all the recent new development along the Williamsburg-Greenpoint border, the park has maintained the feeling of a casual and accessible hangout spot, something increasingly hard to find in North Brooklyn.
The commercialization of the park may not be unusual for New York—The Boathouse inside Central Park and Tacocina at Domino Park, for example—but given how tiny the park is in contrast to, say, Prospect Park, we’re interested in following how this new development will, if at all, change how the park is used and by whom.
McCaren Park is located at 776 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222.