Brooklyn Pop-Up Café Wins Community Board 2 Endorsement

The city's first pop-up café, in the Financial District, is heavily used and good for local business. Photo: Ian Dutton

Brooklyn’s only proposed pop-up café won the approval of Community Board 2 last night in an 18-10-1 vote, allowing the city to replace on-street parking with public seating. This pop-up is sponsored by the Ecopolis Café on Smith Street, which will pay the cost of building the temporary public space.

The Ecopolis pop-up had received unanimous approval from the board’s transportation committee, according to member Mike Epstein. At the full board meeting, however, Epstein said that just about every comment or question on the topic came from opponents of the proposal. Most were concerned about parking. Some were assuaged by the fact that DOT has allowed community boards to have complete veto power over pop-up cafés in their neighborhoods, Epstein reported, meaning that the board could ensure that there would never be more than one on a given block.

In Lower Manhattan, the city’s first pop-up café increased business at the two sponsoring restaurants by 14 percent. Even so, vocal opposition from Sean Sweeney and his SoHo Alliance led the local community board to turn down six of seven proposed pop-ups for SoHo and Greenwich Village last month.

  • The property owner should be commended for pursuing, and persisting with this idea. I remember when that corner building went up and was impressed by it’s dedication to sustainability in construction, and think supporting a livable street at the front door goes hand in hand. Fingers crossed… the success of this Smith street location will spur other pop-up cafes in Brooklyn in the coming months.

  • Anonymous

    The one in the financial district is a block away from me. It’s a beautiful day – I think I’m going to get some Indian for lunch 😀

    Sean Sweeny is a weenie. Stone Street, which is about a block away from this pop up, is a street that’s been turned comopletely over to outdoor seating. And it’s *mobbed* whenever the weather is above 59 degrees. We need more of these, all over the place, downtown – there are SO many people here during the day.

  • Jeff

    How have I never heard about nor seen Stone St? That place looks and sounds amazing!

  • Anonymous

    It’s an adorable little cobblestoned street that used to be a stinky, seedy back back alley until it was closed to traffic. Now, they can’t shoehorn enough tables back there! If you’re ever downtown, check it out. I can vouch for Financier for tasty french pressed sandwiches and some of the best french pastries I’ve ever had.

    Here’s a NYT article on the street:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9400E7DA123CF935A35751C1A9669C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

  • Anonymous

    I am looking forward to biking over with my kids to get an egg cream once the pop-cafe is ready.

  • Ananguest

    Sweet!