Controversial Crown Heights bar Summerhill BK — which locals protested as “racist” following the owner’s declaration that it had “Instagrammable” fake bullet holes — has closed, at least temporarily. The swirly Summerhill logo has disappeared from the awning outside, now painted over in white, according to photos sent to Eater.
An employee tells Eater the bar and sandwich restaurant located at 637 Nostrand Ave., on the corner of St. Marks Avenue, will be closed for a month while it rebrands, though he didn’t say what the new concept would be. He says the bar aims to reopen in mid-February.
An Instagram post marketing the bar’s New Years party suggests it was open until the very end of 2018.
Eater has reached out for more information.
The restaurant opened in 2017 and was denounced by locals after owner Becca Brennan bragged about the photogenic bullet holes in the shop, which turned out to be fake.
Shortly after, signs went up in the neighborhood declaring Summerhill as racist and colonialist. Locals called for a boycott, saying that Brennan didn’t do enough to listen to residents after her tone-deaf marketing ploy.
The neighborhood has history of violence and poverty but is quickly gentrifying, and many of the new restaurants and bars are perceived to target younger, whiter residents. People said it was “blatant disrespect to the community at large.”
But in summer 2018, a This American Life producer found that the restaurant was packed with black clientele. Chef and part-owner Wallahi Oyo became the face of the restaurant.
Stay tuned for more.