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Around Brooklyn: Pandemic makes Peter Luger adapt to digital age

June 11, 2020 Editorial Staff
A snippet of Sunset Park is located beside one of Green-Wood Cemetery’s borders. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Pandemic makes Peter Luger adapt to digital age

Peter Luger, the 133-year-old Michelin-starred steakhouse in Williamsburg, has long been known for its old-fashioned style of service. Before COVID-19, reservations were taken over the phone, waiters took orders on paper checks, and the Peter Luger card was the only credit card accepted. “We hadn’t taken a credit card for 133 years. Now we’re credit cards only. We never touched delivery, now we’re exclusively delivering takeout,” said general manager David Berson. Another change entailed making the Luger Burger, previously available only at lunch, available all day. Luger delivery, which originates from the online app Caviar, started on May 19, according to New York Eater.

Charter school teachers lead Brooklyn march

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On Monday afternoon, 5,000 teachers and staff from a variety of schools in Brooklyn, led by five teachers from the Uncommon Schools charter school network, held a march that started at Long Island University and ended at City Hall. The group, which calls itself Educators for Justice, says its purpose is to “gather educators, parents and community leaders from all social, racial and economic backgrounds to stand together against the injustices we have been experiencing in our communities.” Uncommon Schools CEO Prett Peister also joined the march, according to Patch.

Some restaurants put out patio chairs early, breaking rules

Outdoor dining may still not be allowed in New York City until Phase Two of reopening, still weeks away, begins. However, many restaurants and bars have put out seating for customers ahead of time. Although they are aware that letting diners sit, eat and drink outside is illegal for now, many restaurant managers and owners say putting out seating is worth it to help drum up more sales. One pizzeria owner said, “Do you know how hard it is to eat a pie standing up?” Some owners put out the chairs for people to sit in while waiting for takeout orders, but this quickly progressed into customers sitting in the chairs for hours, according to New York Eater.

Barbecue ends with allegations of police abuse

A barbecue in the courtyard of a Crown Heights building ended in allegations of police brutality on Thursday night, when the 8 p.m. curfew was still in effect, after NYPD officers came to break up the gathering and arrested several residents. Officers arrived to break up the barbecue at around 11:30 p.m. The barbecue had started around 6 p.m. in a fenced-off courtyard in front of a building on Eastern Parkway. When police asked the barbecuers to go inside, Dequan Blue, one of its organizers, said the city’s curfew did not apply to activity on private property. Blue said he and his neighbors started to comply and clean up, but police began physically forcing them into the building, according to Gothamist.

Circa-1909 Bay Ridge house selling for $1.625M

An early 19th century rowhouse in Bay Ridge is selling for $1.625 million. The house has period details like stained glass, parquet floors and a coffered ceiling as well as a contemporary kitchen and bath. It was built in 1909, when blocks of one- and two-family houses were being built in a quickly developing Bay Ridge. The home is described as a bow-fronted house, meaning a round, semi-circular exterior facing the street. The year before it was built, developer William McCormack also wanted to build a saloon on the block, but lost out in a battle with a local church, according to Brownstoner.

Cop charged with assaulting protester released without bail

A police officer who was charged with shoving a female protester to the pavement at a George Floyd demonstration in Brooklyn was released without bail on Tuesday, thanks to bail reforms that took effect on Jan. 1. Vincent D’Andraia gave monosyllabic answers in Brooklyn Criminal Court as he faced third-degree assault and third-degree menacing charges. A video of the incident shows D’Andraia calling protester Dounya Zayer a “stupid b—ch” before shoving her to the pavement, according to the New York Post.

Retail stores slow to open

Storefronts were slow to open on Monday, the first day of Phase One of the city and state’s reopening program. Under Phase One, retailers can open their doors, but they can’t welcome customers inside to browse. Instead, customers must place an order online or by phone, then pick their items up at the stores. In some stores, crews worked to prepare the necessary safety measures for co-workers to return. Some people feel that the “curbside pickup” method is not really applicable to New York City, where few people drive cars up to retail shops’ doors, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

Protesters hold ‘Defund the Police Party’

Thousands of protesters marched Sunday evening from McCarren Park to South Williamsburg in a protest marked by demands to “defund” (or reduce funding for) the NYPD. The march’s destination was a street in Williamsburg where City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was staying with his partner, according to community organizer Sandy Nurse. Organizers demanded that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Johnson remove $1 billion from the Police Department’s yearly budget. The organizers called the protest the “Defund the Police Party,” according to Greenpointers.

Cops seek couple who ‘got down’ at High Street station

Police are looking for a couple who were spotted having sex at the A and C train’s High Street station last month. Police say that on May 17, the pair were seen on the platform at the Brooklyn Heights subway station engaging in sexual activity in public view. A video was later posted on social media. The first suspect is described as a female with a dark complexion, a medium build and short black hair. The second suspect is described as a man with a dark complexion, a medium build and light facial hair, according to amNewYork.

Companies buy Flatbush apartment buildings

Camber Property Group and Belveron Partners have closed on their purchase of a $90 million affordable housing portfolio in Flatbush. Merchants Bank of Indiana provided $66 million in acquisition financing. The portfolio consists of 384 units in buildings on East 18th Street, East 21st Street, Ocean Avenue and Linden Boulevard, a mix of rent-stabilized and market-rate properties. The two developers, along with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, plan to convert the buildings to affordable housing, according to the Commercial Observer.

Rep. Rose honors military academies

U.S. Rep. Max Rose on Thursday hosted a virtual Service Academy Day to help students, parents and teachers from Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island navigate the application process for West Point, Annapolis, the Merchant Marine Academy and similar institutions. “Now more than ever, we need anyone and everyone who feels a call to public service to step up to the plate,” said Rose.

Seven-story apartment building planned for Williamsburg

Permits have been filed for a seven-story residential building at 5 Withers St. in Williamsburg. The space, currently occupied by a parking lot, is located at North Ninth and Withers streets, a short walk to the L train’s Bedford Avenue subway station. The building is slated to have 23 units, most likely rentals, as well as 12 enclosed parking spaces. Yisroel Greenfield is listed as the owner, and Diego Aguilera Architects is listed as the architect of record, according to New York YIMBY.

Gang shooting injures man in Bed-Stuy

A young man was shot in the leg during a gang shooting in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Wednesday afternoon that left scattered shells on the street for more than a block. The victim was taken to Kings County Hospital in stable condition. Police said assailants in a red four-door Honda shot the man in the street, and others may have been involved. “These people don’t care what is going on around them, they just want to kill each other,” one resident told amNewYork.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.


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