Crown Heights Summerhill Bar Succumbs to Outrage

crown heights summerhill bar succumbs to outrage

Summerhill Bar Closed

Becca Brennan’s marketing plan didn’t anticipate the outrage it faced when she opened Summerhill Bar.

Touting bullet riddled walls and malt liquor themed drinks proved to be the demise of the controversial bar.

When word about its closure began to circulate, it signaled a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs eager to start businesses in gentrifying neighborhoods.

Using a neighborhood’s violent history to promote the “authenticity” her local watering hole promised patrons spelled disaster for Becca, who had lived in Crown Heights before opening the failed establishment.

Locals protested the business and attended community meetings hosted by Jeffrey Davis, a resident and community activist, to mediate a resolution between residents and Summerhill’s owner for desired changes in decor.

And while Becca Brennan was defiant about making changes to appease locals, she plastered walls and changed menu items to remove the stigma it reflected on their community.

Crown Heights Summerhill never recovered.

How important is it for small business owners to be aware of cultural norms and community standards before opening a business?


This townhouse is 120 years old

1237 union st vintage pic
Before a tract of “easy housekeeping homes” were built, 1237 Union St was erected just as Eastern Parkway became the route where marches by American armed forces would celebrate victories in the Spanish-American War and World War I.

And the first family that occupied this home witnessed the installation of street lights, fire hydrants and IRT subway that would run the length of the parkway’s malls from Prospect Heights to Brownsville.

If only these walls could talk, everyone attending its open house would leave with a story to tell.


Easy housekeeping at 1190 Union St

1190 union st in crown heights brooklyn

Just think this stately townhouse was advertised to housewives as an easy housekeeping home.

Apparently a new market for townhouse living emerged where families didn’t want to rely on servants to help maintain a home.

Realty Associates built these homes in 1914 on the south side of 1275 block of Union St.

And one thing proved right, it offered all the comforts sought in a home. A parlor floor with sitting room, a living room for entertaining and formal dining room to throw memorable dinner parties.

It’ll be up for interpretation whether current owners need servants/housekeepers as the original advertisement suggests it doesn’t. But one thing is certain the homes have maintained its charm throughout the years.

Click here to see interior photos of a home sold on this block.


St John’s rec center is back

st johns rec center is open after closing for 3 years for renovations

April 29th marked the official re-opening of the St John’s Recreation Center in Crown Heights.

Patrons have waited for a year to resume activities in the new and approved facility. The improvements include new gym floors, computers and upgrades to the HVAC center.

Expect a new outdoor fitness area slated for completion by 2021.

There’s an annual membership fee of $150 however some programs are free.

Do you plan to use the recreation center in the coming weeks?


Thanks for reading this edition of Around The Way, a weekly series sharing what’s happening in Brooklyn neighborhoods we live and work in.

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