Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is the latest elected official to condemn efforts to shutter one of the borough’s most popular eateries as racist.
As first highlighted in KCP, Woodland Restuarant, 242 Flatbush Avenue and 6th Avenue, arguably the most popular weekend brunch spot in the city for the young urban black and Hispanic professional crowd, faces losing its liquor license after Progressive City Council Member Brad Lander (D-Park Slope), Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon (D-Carrol Gardens, Cobble Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill), Community Board 6 and some residents have been complaining of loud and drunkenly behavior.
This has led to Black Institute Founder and President Bertha Lewis and a number of other black officials and advocates to decry the progressives’ attempts to have the State Liquor Authority (SLA) revoke their license.
“It’s racism. What’s happening to Woodlands is just unbelievable,” said Adams on this week’s KCP [Un] Correct New York podcast. “Here you have an establishment on the corner of 6th Avenue and Flatbush with a predominately African-American crowd of professionals. You find professors in there. You will find police officers in there. You will find politicians in there. Just about every politician in Brooklyn has been there. It is a well-manged place.”
Adams said when the complaints about Woodland first came on his radar, he held a meeting with community members and included the Department of Environmental Protection and the local police department.
“I came in and said, ‘Listen, if these guys are having crimes coming from their place or the noise is too loud based on decibels – if that’s to happen, let’s close the place down,” said Adams a retired New York City Police Department Captain. “The police inspector came up and said he’s not having any crimes from that place. DEP said, ‘we tested the noise and the level is not high.’
“Now look up and down Flatbush Avenue from the Manhattan Bridge all the way to Grand Army Plaza. How many establishments do you have that black and Hispanic frequent? Even on Sunday, there’s Sunday brunch and people stand in line outside in an orderly fashion. You have people in the area who probably only been in the area for just a week start talking and they say there’s a line out front. Are you kidding me? That’s how people judge the success of a restaurant – that there’s a line. People say, ‘hey, I had to wait in line and I met some great people on the line.’
“It’s really unfair what’s happening to Woodland. That’s a story that really needs to come out. The destruction of a legitimate business in our city. Our nightlife produces billions of dollars for this city. To destroy Woodland is really a shame. It’s a double standard. The most progressive people in this city can be so mean sometimes, and believe if you don’t do it my way, that’s to be the wrong way.
“I enjoy my time at Woodland. I will keep frequenting there like I do at all the businesses in Brooklyn. They say you are not critical of them. Well, I had a meeting. Everyone there who was present heard an independent voice from the DEP and the police department said no crimes were coming from out of there and the noise was not high. So one gentleman at the meeting said, ‘well someone urinated in front of my house. So I said, you went and tested the urine from the person and found out it tested from Woodland?”
Adams comments came as Woodland will go before the SLA in a hearing to keep their liquor license on Aug. 20.