Popular yet controversial Park Slope brunch spot Woodland Bar has closed after its liquor license was revoked in December, the Brooklyn Paper reports — despite fans’ efforts to save the restaurant’s famed black brunch.
Woodland has been in danger of losing its license since July 2019 due to a series of complaints filed against it following its opening in 2012, including hundreds of noise complaints and issues with customers urinating on the streets.
The State Liquor Authority revoked the restaurant’s liquor license on December 18; it went into effect January 3. Owner Akiva Ofshtein previously told the Post that his restaurant would not be able to survive without the liquor license.
Ofshtein alleged that the restaurant’s woes have to do with racism. The bar had a predominantly black clientele, and he previously argued that the mostly white neighbors living around the bar did not approve of it.
But area residents and elected officials countered that their concerns only have to do with drunken behavior. On December 22 last year, a fight broke out at the bar, and one person was stabbed as a result, albeit outside the bar.
Prior to the SLA’s hearings, non-profit organization the Black Institute launched a petition in support of the bar, echoing owner Ofshtein’s complaints of racism and arguing that other bars in the neighborhood had not been targeted in a similar manner. The petition ultimately garnered more than 3,300 signatures.
Still, following a series of formal meetings, the SLA made its decision to strip the bar of its license for good.
Ofshtein could not immediately be reached.
Despite our efforts, @woodlandnyc— The Black Institute (@TheBlackInst) January 7, 2020
has closed down because of loud misinformation and inadequate resources for business owners. Woodland was a place for black/Caribbean people to eat, drink, and BRUNCH for the culture. This is an outrage! #saveblackbrunch pic.twitter.com/ai9uWyrQPx