When we first shared our reporting that two new nightclubs, including one from the Tao Group, planned to open on Franklin Street, combinations of vomit emojis, “pls no,” “How can we stop this?” proliferated our comment section. And frankly, in an era of arguments over the McGuinness Boulevard redesign and a looming primary election, it was nice to see that kind of unified front again.

Residents shared myriad reasons for opposing the nightclubs, including worries over two opening simultaneously, noise, and potential for increased traffic. But a more subtle reason for the opposition has now emerged. The McGolrick Bird Club says that the nightclubs will negatively impact our local environment, considering the clubs’ location on the Bushwick Inlet waterway. True to their name, they especially fear the clubs’ impact on bird species.

The clubs’ location next to Bushwick Inlet. Image via McGolrick Bird Club.

“Bushwick Inlet Park is an opportunity to provide a refuge for local wildlife and migratory bird species that are critical to healthy ecosystems,” the group writes in a statement shared with Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 at a recent meeting. “Birds act as pollinators, pest control, and agents of biodiversity, helping other plant and animal species thrive and improving our ecosystems and community. These two new nightlife venues pose a significant threat to the ecological health of the park.”

McGolrick Bird Club says that Bushwick Inlet is home to over 100 species of birds. The group cited specific concerns that the light and noise would disrupt the birds’ migratory patterns and urged BK CB 1 to deny the new liquor licenses. A reminder that while community boards review applications for liquor licenses, their approval or denial is only advisory—the state’s Liquor Authority makes the final decision. 

These fears are shared by another local environmental group, and one who has long made Bushwick Inlet a priority. The local non-profit Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park shared this statement with Greenpointers.

v

“Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park has deep concerns about the planned 1000-person capacity entertainment venue at 11-25 Franklin Street which is seeking to obtain a liquor license. 

The outdoor section of this property is open and adjacent only separated by a fence to the soon to be open (late 2025) next section of Bushwick Inlet Park, which includes the inlet itself. Blaring music, the loud din from boisterous crowds, pollution from external cooling systems and excessive light at night, will pose an existential threat to the unique naturalistic ecosystem that, as noted in the McGolrick Park Bird Club’s statement, is host to wide array of bird species, and to park goers who will seek peaceful refuge there. 

Bushwick Inlet Park was promised to the North Brooklyn Community in 2005 as a part of a massive local rezoning that year, to serve as mitigation against the massive increase of residents that has ensued and continues here. A nightly convergence of 1,000 people into the narrow Franklin Street corridor overflowing into the Bushwick Inlet site could easily pose major safety and quality of life issues for the park and adjacent areas.

While the Friends support a strong thriving cultural scene in North Brooklyn, it should not exist as a detriment to critical infrastructure such as public open green space. And especially with a park that our community has waited almost 20 years for its creation.”

Considering the long (long) journey to bring the park to life, a journey still unfolding as new sections of the park continue to open, the potential environmental impacts should certainly be investigated. 

If you share the group’s concerns, you can check out these links on how to take more action, including an email template to use. 

The Tao group will return to face the board on Tuesday, June 18.

Join the Conversation

5

  1. Ah, the circle of life.

    McGolrick “Bird” Club started as a charming neighborhood oddity led by a “newbie birdwatcher”, over time evolved into a crowded hipster phenomenon slightly annoying to the regulars at the park, and has now entered its logical next stage: NIMBYism.

    1. Is this the same Mike who commented on the original Greenpointers article about these nightclubs with the following:

      “Mike (May 15, 2024 at 5:29 pm) – l am related to the project at 1 Meserole/Deuces. If there are any questions about it please don’t hesitate to ask. Id love to give as much info as possible”

      Or is that just a coinkidink?

  2. 1 Meserole and Tao are two different things. 1 Meserole has no outdoor operations whereas Tao’s proposed plans show an indoor/outdoor operation. Tao’s plan requires a tremendous amount of construction work to become a code compliant venue. 1 Meserole on the other hand is a code compliant building, thanks to Adidas, and requires little to no work outside the space. I’m befuddled by how these two venues are getting lumped together.
    I’ve read through the bird community’s reports and I would agree Tao’s construction and operation could have an impact on wildlife but I disagree that something happening inside a building that already exists which is separated from the inlet by Kent Ave will impact it.
    Tao is not for this hood but a small event space seems practical to me especially since across the street from 2014-2019 Northern Territory had a banging roof top spot and lets not forget Greenpoint Ale House next to NT….that’s where a lot of people were for the 2014 World Cup

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *