I received this well thought out response to my Save The Backyard Bars posts from a couple of weeks ago and wanted to post it. Will makes some excellent posts and I’m always one for both sides of the story.

There are a couple of points in this post that I believe don’t tell the whole story as it pertains to The Diamond’s unique backyard situation. In fact, I know the point/arguments don’t tell the whole story.

To write that there is no one for The Diamond to wake up is completely false. My family owns the residential building right next door to The Diamond. My family has owned the building for almost 30 years. We’ve seen how the neighborhood has changed in recent years. And while I personally believe it’s been for the better, my mother and stepfather don’t agree. It’s a great example of the differences between Greenpoint’s established residents and the new blood.

They’ve had numerous complaints about The Diamond, which I at first thought were exaggerated. But each time I visit (I now live in Chicago, which is king of the backyard bars), I can understand their frustrations.

The Diamond’s backyard area is quite loud during summer evenings, to the point where the windows facing that direction need to be closed at night to drown out some of the sound. It’s definitely not the ideal situation on a cool summer evening. I believe what’s even more of a problem is the people who hang out in front of the bar.

Many Chicago bars are in residential areas. Most have signs that read “Please be courteous to our neighbors as you leave.” I don’t believe any such signs exist at The Diamond.

I know that my family has expressed these concerns to Dave, the bar owner. And I believe he’s tried to accommodate them in the past. But I think it’s gotten to the point where the complaints are following on deaf ears. I don’t know if that’s truly the case. just the feeling I get.

I have nothing against The Diamond Bar. I’ve been in there a few times and have talked to Dave. While he’s right that factories mostly surround The Diamond, he needs to recognize the fact there also are residents surrounding his bar. Be a good neighbor because that’s what good businesses do.

Again, I don’t want to come off as a hater. I feel like I’m one of the few OGs (Original Greenpointers) who has fully embraced the neighborhood’s changes. I live in a Chicago neighborhood (Logan Square) that is very similar. And while I’m often the only brown face (I’m Puerto Rican) in the neighborhood’s bar, I appreciate the vibe. I appreciate that about Greenpoint too. While I don’t fit in with the hipster/yuppie crowd, I appreciate the fact I don’t have to leave my own neighborhood any more to get a good meal and go out for a drink.

Back to The Diamond, I’ll actually be in Greenpoint tomorrow for the next 10 days. If any of the examples I mentioned above come up, I’ll jot them down and relay them to you. Not that I’m looking to start any trouble, but I want people to realize that yes, backyard bar areas can be a nuisance.

Sincerely,
Will

Thanks for the email, Will.

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3

  1. As always, be careful what you wish for. If, as he says, the biggest part of the noise problem is people hanging out in front of the bar, wouldn't eliminating backyards make that worse?

    In fact, may bars do have signs encouraging smokers to use only the backyard area and not smoke outside the front door. In general those areas are more enclosed and will better keep sound "locked in".

  2. First of all, backyards aren't going away. The hours they could be open would change under this law.

    As far as people hanging out in the front of the bar because of reduced backyard hours, isn't it the responsibility of the bar owner to make sure people aren't loitering out front? It's fine if you want to take a cigarette break, but no reason to be out there more than you need to be for a cigarette break.

    As far as backyard areas being more enclosed to keep the sound "locked in," that's not the case with the Diamond. It's as open as any backyard can be.

    Again, not trying to make it seem like I'm being Mr. Grumpy about the whole situation, but bar owners need to realize there are some problems associated with backyard bar areas.

    –Will

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