For the past week, the controversy over Prime 6, an in-the-works “Yo MTV Raps ‘bling-bling’ vip club” set to open on 242 Flatbush Avenue, has stayed at the top of our Google Reader and Twitter feeds since “Jennifer McMillen,” a woman who claims to live on the same block, created a petition suggesting that the club switch over to indie music, despite the fact that “R&B and rap happen to be [her] two favorite types of music.”
Last night Community Board 6 met at Long Island College to discuss this and other, less bloggable matters. Although nothing was voted on (there will be another meeting a week from today), Permits and Licenses Committee head Mark Shames stated the community’s position, and did so without having to name-drop his “African American friends and colleagues.”
According to Shames, the Park Slope community raised three main complaints. First, Prime 6 will be providing bottle service, which, alongside an apparently risqué website (since taken down), led residents to believe the venue, in Shames’ words, “might be a gentleman’s club.” It won’t be a gentleman’s club. But it will be open until 4 a.m., which seems to be a sticking point, and residents on the adjacent St. Mark’s Avenue fear that the backyard space will bring the noise over from Flatbush to their more residential street. Perhaps surprisingly, lack of stroller parking does not seem to be an issue.
The biggest obstacle to Prime 6’s liquor license was the 500-foot rule, whereby an establishment serving liquor cannot be within 500 feet of another establishment doing the same thing. The club passed, but now the community wants a redo on the hearing. (After the meeting, Shames admitted that his committee’s handling of the matter was “not sufficiently tight.”) Shames denied the presence of any racial overtones at the previous meeting, claiming that “people from the neighborhood were angry, but they were civil.” He later suggested that part of the outcry may be due to the fact that the club is “not geared towards local residents,” but attributed this to opposition to the nearby Atlantic Yards project rather than anything based on race.
Unfortunately, Jennifer McMillen didn’t appear to be present, and thus we did not get the chance to hear her thoughts on “6 Foot 7 Foot” or ask her for her Top Five List of Least Racist Places. In fact, as the meeting went on, it seemed more and more likely that the original petition was itself a parody, or at least a bit of satire, although it’s hard to tell by whom. We already threw Carles’ name into the ring as a possible suspect; all things considered, we wouldn’t be surprised if, in the face of Charlie Sheen’s Internet dominance, the petition was collectively generated by the blogosphere itself. Either way, there will be more committee and community meetings to come, so McMillen, or whoever wrote that petition, could still step forth.