While Trash Bar looks for a new home, its owner, Aaron Pierce, is looking to open a nice new bar that he says will have nothing to do with his other, grittier brainchild.
But some neighbors are doubtful: “It’s going to be the next Trash Bar,” insisted Andy Hoek, who lives just down the street from the new bar’s intended home at 63 Montrose, between Lorimer and Leonard Streets. Hoek and several other members of the public attended the Brooklyn Community Board 1 State Liquor Authority Committee meeting Wednesday night to express their disapproval.
Delfia Vega, who has lived on that block for 45 years, said it was “nice and quiet” before Room 63, the bar that was the previous tenant, moved in. Jamie Slaper, who lives in one of the apartments above the bar, told the committee that as a working professional she can’t bear the thought of having noise and marijuana smoke wafting through her windows at all hours of the night, as she claimed happened with Room 63.
The drunkenness and noise from the bar was “a nightmare,” the locals agreed, and they weren’t convinced that it would be much better under Pierce’s ownership.
“He has a whole rap sheet of violations from the Trash Bar,” Hoek told the committee, citing fines for evidence of cockroaches, among other things. Trash Bar announced last month that it was leaving Williamsburg after 10 years and “following the flow of creativity eastward to Bushwick.”
“Every place in New York City has those violations,” argued Pierce. “It’s impossible not to.” He insisted this wouldn’t be the next Trash Bar; for one thing it would be too small, he said. Committee members pointed out that certain elements of the application — like “acoustic music only” — indicated that this would not be a noisy music venue.
Members of the public speaking against the bar (there were four total at the meeting) pointed out that Pierce didn’t mention his association with Trash Bar in his application and said it’s a sign he’s not being truthful. Pierce said he openly stated he was Trash Bar’s owner at last month’s committee meeting, where his request for a liquor license endorsement was turned down.
Pierce is now hoping that the third time’s the charm: he’ll have to face the committee again next month after doing what he termed “homework.” The committee said they will back his application next time as long as he’s able to get 50 signatures from tenants of nearby Lindsay Park Housing as well as a letter from their tenant association. He also needs to speak with Deputy Inspector Mark DiPaolo at the 90th Precinct and obtain a letter from the PTA of PS250.
Pierce said that even though he will remain the owner of Trash Bar when it opens (hopefully by this summer, he said), he’s planning to turn over most of his duties there so he can focus on his new bar. He started Trash Bar in 2003, and now that he’s older and a lawyer thinking about having kids, he wants to create a bar he would enjoy going to “at two in morning” to grab a bite after a late night at work.