With its laidback, waterfront charm, Greenpoint can feel like a quiet oasis in the middle of a big city. Though Greenpoint Avenue is one of the neighborhood’s larger and busier streets, the noise level is still relatively minor in comparison to the rest of New York City. That is, until summer 2019, when Kaskade moved in.
Neighbors say that the noise coming from Kaskade (123 Greenpoint Avenue), which bills itself as a modern European restaurant and event space, is disruptive, with frequent late-night parties keeping neighbors up until the early hours of the morning.
“They just don’t care, at all. No matter what you do, no matter what you say, they apologize to your face and then just keep partying the next night like nothing ever happened,” said Marko Markovich, who has lived next to 123 Greenpoint Avenue his whole life.
“Out of anyone around the block, they were consistently loud, late into the night. There was no signage to be quiet, there was no attempt to quell outdoor conversation, especially on weeknights,” said Linda Trimbath, a resident of another neighboring building for the past 20 years.
Several longtime residents spoke to Greenpointers about the noise. Thomas Hemmerick first moved into the building next-door in 2010. As a graduate student, he took over the role of the building’s superintendent in exchange for paying rent around 2015. He found both of the previous tenants, first a bar called Wendy’s and later French Epi restaurant, to be respectful neighbors, but he noticed a difference immediately after Kaskade opened.
“The noise violations — they would be any night of the week. The parties would really happen any night of the week, even on a Wednesday. They’d have a DJ in there. My wife could literally Shazam the songs they were playing through the walls in our bedroom,” Hemmerick told Greenpointers.
While he says Kaskade initially fended off his complaints with promises of treating him and his family to dinner, Hemmerick felt like they missed the point.
“We just want to go to bed at a reasonable time, with the volume at a reasonable level. We don’t want a free meal,” he added.
After the birth of their child, he and his wife decided to leave the building after 11 years. While other reasons contributed to the decision to leave, chiefly among them space, the noise level certainly didn’t help.
Hemmerick also says he witnessed maskless partying at Kaskade in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, which Markovich brought up to Greenpointers. A post made in a private local Facebook group in October 2020 documents at least one maskless party at Kaskade, though it is unclear how many took place. Indoor dining resumed in New York City at the end of September 2020, though at 25% capacity. With cases spiking through the fall, indoor dining would be prohibited again by December of that year.
All the tenants that spoke with Greenpointers for this story say that they have contacted Kaskade in person to ask them to turn down the noise and have made calls to 311 and the police as well, which they all felt led nowhere.
The noise problem escalated to a degree that prompted one resident to take legal action. Marie-Cassandre Wavre, an attorney by trade, brought the case to small-claims court, suing Kaskade for noise nuisance. At the most recent hearing in March, she says that Kaskade announced they were counter-suing her for $10,000, triggering another hearing for this upcoming August.
“I am simply not able to sleep until the music at Kaskade stops, which usually does not happen before 3am or 4am,” Wavre says in an affidavit. “The little sleep I get is very short and disturbed as a result of the noise, and I wake up more tired than before sleeping. This has considerably affected my health: I am constantly tired, and I suffer from regular headaches. Mentally, I am always feeling down, stressed, anxious, and depressed that it has to happen every week and I have to go through this situation every time.”
She says that at court, Kaskade offered to soundproof her unit instead, an offer that Hemmerick told Greenpointers that Kaskade made to him as well.
After Wavre solicited support from her fellow tenants, Benjamin Levy, another building resident, gave a statement. In an affidavit seen by Greenpointers, Levy recounted a particularly disturbing incident that took place at a karaoke party with a group of adolescents last summer.
“One partygoer was repeatedly chanting phrases such as ‘Burn the Jews’ and using the ’N-word’ in a derogatory fashion. I walked into Kaskade and asked to speak to the manager, who confirmed that the hate speech I was hearing was indeed coming from their party. I politely asked her to shut down the party before I called the police on them for promoting hate speech, as well as reprimand the guilty party. After promising me the party would be shut down, the party outside as well as the karaoke microphone was back up and running within 15 minutes.”
Levy further elaborated on the incident via phone call. He said that when he visited Kaskade in person to speak to management, he was initially brushed off and told that these were good kids who would never do something like this. Once they relented, Levy eventually spoke to the adolescent leading the chants before returning to his apartment, only to be met by noise shortly after.
“Not only did they not care about the noise complaints, they didn’t care about all the hateful shit they were putting out into the world. They really seemed to have no remorse to the point where they started the party right back up, ten minutes later,” Levy lamented.
The incident reads as especially disturbing considering the events that lead to the space’s former tenant, French Epi, shutting down and Kaskade opening soon after. When Kaskade opened in summer of 2019, it quickly took over the former French Epi space, after the latter unceremoniously shut down due to a slew of bad publicity after a far-right Polish nationalist speaker, Robert Winnicki, hosted an event there in June. French Epi’s owner maintained at the time that she had no idea that Winnicki would make an appearance and said that the restaurant was overrun with a group that far exceeded what was initially booked as a normal reservation.
Jolanta Filip, who was a manager at French Epi, purchased the space and quickly rebranded it as Kaskade. Greenpointers has reached out to Kaskade multiple times but they have not responded to our requests for comment.
As for next steps, Kaskade’s liquor license is up for renewal in August, the same month that the next court hearing will take place.
I had to move because of noise from Kaskade – tried to address it many times directly and was always rebuffed, so I tried 311 and they did nothing. I’m sorry that others are having the same rough experience that I did! But it makes me happy that I left when I did. I hope those involved reach some kind of reasonable solution…
Why don’t you move to the suburbs. It’s NYC get a life
I’m sorry to say but this happens around the five boroughs. If you can’t handle living around businesses at a busy area like greenpoint then you should move out of the city . I have physically been around the area after midnight and there are many establishments that have some sort of music or people outside and no one complains. Kaskade is a wonderful restaurant with great food and has a fantastic woman that runs the place. How about we support our local restaurants and not look to hurt them.
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