Williamsburg

Contentious East Williamsburg club The Brooklyn Mirage secures full liquor license

6,000-person venue set to reopen in May or June

April 5, 2017 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Hundreds of people party at an event last summer at The Brooklyn Mirage. Photo by Amanda Kari McHugh, www.mandakphoto.net
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The controversial pop-up club The Brooklyn Mirage was indeed living up to its name last summer after city officials repeatedly shut down the venue for a host of violations.

However, following a long struggle with local law enforcement, Community Board 1 (CB1) and a series of botched raves, the club seems to be on the right track to reopening permanently after the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) granted the venue a full liquor license on Monday.  

SLA issued the license despite CB1 — which encompasses Greenpoint, Williamsburg and East Williamsburg — voting to deny the company a certificate, since the club’s operators refused to close the venue at 1 a.m.

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The Brooklyn Mirage is run out of an industrial lot at 111 Gardner Ave. in East Williamsburg and is operated by Zurich-based entertainment company Cityfox.

The club encompasses an outdoor portion of a 6,000-person, 80,000-square-foot complex that also includes indoor and year-round facilities. The entire compound is known as Avant Gardner.

The venue is slated to re-open in May or June and its hours of operation will be 2 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.

“We are excited,” Cityfox’s Marketing Director Simar Singh told the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday. “For the last many months, our team has worked hard to meet requirements and requests of all agencies and local officials while demonstrating our commitment to safety and the community.

“We’ll continue the same until doors open and always afterwards.”

Cityfox is the same business that attempted to throw a massive rave on Halloween in 2015 inside the NuHart Plastics Factory, a deserted Greenpoint warehouse filled with toxic waste that 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. Authorities also canceled the party because there were combustible substances and hazardous materials on site.

Cityfox founder Billy Bildstein has attempted to open The Brooklyn Mirage since last spring, but it was shut down on several occasions for safety and fire-code violations and for selling alcohol without a liquor license.

Bildstein attended a Feb. 15 CB1 meeting where he apologized for his company’s previous actions and vowed to make improvements at the location.  

“I want to apologize to you, the community, about many things we could have done better,” Bildstein said at the gathering, according to DNAinfo.

“We made mistakes and we didn’t do our homework right before we approached the board last year. I know we didn’t make a very good impression last year, and we’re here to show you the improvements.”

At the meeting, Bildstein pledged to run a neighborhood “beautification plan,” hire 171 Brooklynites and that his club would generate $7.2 million in local income. He also alerted CB1 members that he had gained the support of more than 20 local politicians and neighborhood activists.

In addition to hosting the world’s top underground DJs, The Brooklyn Mirage will host movie screenings, fashions shows and art events. It will be adorned with street murals and roughly 15,000 plants.

Food options will include a series of Brooklyn vendors serving tacos, pizza and German street food.

“We look forward to providing hundreds of jobs, increased local economic activity and a unique space to host a wide variety of events for Brooklyn,” Singh told the Eagle. “We hope to become an indelible contribution to the thriving cultural landscape of New York City.”

 


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