Owner of Bushwick’s Bossa Nova Civic Club is planning 1,300-person club in East Williamsburg

September 20, 2016 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This Google maps file photo shows 198 Randolph St., where John Barclay is planning to build a 1,300-person nightclub. © 2016 Google
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The owner of the trendy Bushwick bar Bossa Nova Civic Club announced on Sept. 14 at a Community Board 1 meeting that he has plans to open a 1,300-person nightclub, concert hall and restaurant in East Williamsburg at 198 Randolph St.

While Bossa Nova — a venue that arguably put Bushwick back on the map in terms of nightlife — is an intimate, dark nightspot nestled underneath the M train overpass, John Barclay’s newest project, planned for a former warehouse, will surely boast different vibes.  

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Barclay, according to DNAinfo, began the application process for a liquor license for his proposed venue at the meeting last Wednesday.

At the gathering, Barclay did not provide much information regarding his club other than the fact that it would host ticketed concerts and stay open until 6 a.m. on the weekends, reports DNAinfo.

“We are trying to follow every possible rule and we are very open to any input from the community board,” Barclay told DNAinfo.

More and more nightlife venues are popping up in North Brooklyn’s industrial neighborhoods due to a high number of abandoned warehouses that line the borough’s waterfront from its heyday as a shipping hub.

Specific neighborhoods heavily concentrated with abandoned buildings include Williamsburg, East Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

In addition, Newtown Creek provided industrial access to the waterfront and therefore has many vacated premises on its shores. The 3.5-mile estuary runs along the edges of Greenpoint and East Williamsburg.

Because Brooklyn today doesn’t boast nearly as much ship traffic as it used to, these vacant buildings make for ideal locations for real estate investors.

Relations between Community Board 1 and the nightlife community have been strained recently after the Zurich-based entertainment company CityFox had its popup club the Brooklyn Mirage shutdown multiple times this summer for failing clear safety violations and for serving liquor without a license.

The business attempted to run out of an old industrial lot at 140 Stewart Ave. in East Williamsburg.

CityFox is the same business that attempted to throw a massive rave last Halloween inside the NuHart Plastics Factory, a deserted Greenpoint warehouse that is filled with toxic waste and is partially a Superfund site.

That event was shut down after CityFox sold 6,000 tickets for a space cleared for only 3,500 people and because there were combustible substances and hazardous materials on site.

The next Community Board 1 meeting is planned for Thursday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. at 211 Ainslie St.


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