Following protests, boycotts, and social media backlash, Summerhill in Crown Heights has plastered over the controversial hole-ridden wall that the bar originally claimed came from bullet holes.
The bar and sandwich shop, located at 673 Nostrand Avenue, ignited a controversy earlier this summer when it sent out a press release highlighting fake bullet holes in its walls as “Instagrammable.” Owner Becca Brennan has faced a lot of heat since then, initially refusing to cover over the wall, saying she wanted to “keep the integrity of a 100-year-old building.” She pushed back at protestors online and finally gave an ill-received apology at a town hall meeting with locals.
Now, Brennan closed early Tuesday night for the changes, which Gothamist caught on photo:
Crown Heights Bar Owner Plasters Over Controversial 'Bullet Hole' Wall https://t.co/guYfm4QYqY pic.twitter.com/Fr4sMzvVAW— Gothamist (@Gothamist) September 20, 2017
In protests outside the restaurant following the press release earlier this summer, one demand from organizers was that Brennan remove the wall. But protest organizers Jon Villaran and Justine Stephens tell Gothamist that they think the move, which follows several attempts at apologies from Brennan, is “purely performative” and “cannot undo the harm [Brennan] has already caused.”
In Crown Heights, Nostrand Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Atlantic is quickly gentrifying, and increasingly, bars and restaurants targeting young and primarily white new residents have opened. Summerhill may be the first business to capitalize on historic violence and poverty in Crown Heights as a point of the decor — making it an easy lightning rod for existing tensions.