Best neighborhood bar slated for destruction by Frank Gehry (2008)


Once upon a time, architect Frank Gehry had some cred among progressives. The postmodernist's image probably began fading as his designs started repeating themselves, his style descending into cliché—all those buildings that look like they've already fallen down. But Gehry's pact with developer Bruce Ratner to design the megalithic Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn torpedoed whatever remained of his alterna-rep. The community issues involved with Atlantic Yards are larger than the survival of one neighborhood bar, but those who know and love Freddy's may be some of the most hostile to the Gehry-Ratner axis: The bar's Prospect Heights corner is slated to be leveled to make way for the arena and housing towers. Freddy's may look like a bar, but it feels more like a neighborhood pub. While the front room is dedicated to the consumption of moderately priced alcohol, the back room—in addition to hosting a full roster of music—offers evenings like the Diorama Lodge (a/k/a "liquor-fueled arts-and-crafts"), Opera on Tap (for those who like to sing arias while drinking beer), and the now notorious Cringe Night, which features people reading embarrassing passages from their youthful diaries. It's the kind of true Brooklyn community that Gehry and Ratner, sitting in L.A. and Cleveland, will likely never understand. Though some hope remains, odds on Freddy's long-term survival look poor, so hie thyself—and the poems from your teenage journals—over while you still can.

Location Details

627 5th Ave.
Brooklyn NY 11215


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >