The New York State Liquor Authority granted Brooklyn-based promoters Cityfox a liquor license today for their 6,000-person capacity venue. At a hearing on Monday, the agency greenlit the promoter's plans to reopen the Bushwick nightspot, approving a permit to run it as a permanent venue.
"We are excited," Simar Singh, Cityfox's marketing director told THUMP. "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."
The decision comes despite Greenpoint and Williamsburg's Community Board 1 unanimously voting against Cityfox's application for a liquor license last week. The board's recommendation was only advisory, however, and was taken into account by the SLA in making their final decision.
According to building and security plans seen by THUMP, the whole complex (which is called Avant Gardner) is 80,000 square feet and has maximum capacity of 6,000 people. The Brooklyn Mirage is the outdoor portion of the lot, and the full complex also includes indoor and year-round facilities. It will be one of the largest venues that holds nightlife events in the country.
The promoter's plans for the space include music events that will run from 2 PM until 4:30 AM. In addition to club nights, the promoters plan to host community functions at the space, such as performing arts events, corporate gigs, film and photo shoots, and fashion shows.
Cityfox has been trying since last spring to open the space as a permanent venue. The venue hosted a handful of parties in the early summer at the Brooklyn Mirage, but city officials shuttered it in June after finding multiple safety violations.
In the months since the venue was closed down, Cityfox went back to the drawing board and lobbied local stakeholders to get support for re-opening the venue. According to state records, the team spent $60,000 on employing a lobbying firm to help bolster their case.
At a presentation given to Community Board 1 in February, Cityfox founder Billy Bildstein came armed with 24 letters of support from local politicians, community organizers, and business owners.
One letter from Beatrix Bang, global communications planning director at media agency PHD worldwide, which throws events for companies including Delta Airlines, Unilever and HBO, said: "There is currently an absence of venues that can accommodate the types of shows, events, exhibitions etc that are part of the marketing campaigns that we create and produce."
Bildstein apologized to the community board at the meeting, according to local media outlet 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," he said.
He presented his plans for the space, which included a "neighborhood beautification plan" and scope to hire 171 Brooklyn workers, generating $7.2 million in local income.
"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 said. "We hope to become an indelible contribution to the thriving cultural landscape of New York City."
Cityfox plans to get the space up and running in the coming weeks.
Additional reporting by Will Caiger-Smith.