Ode to Freddy's
May 04, 2010 | 7228 views | 0 0 comments | 178 178 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If you weren't at Freddy's Bar this weekend you missed a pretty good time. Let's leave it at that.

On second thoughts, a few words in parting might be appropriate. Now is as good a time as any; the beloved bar closed for good Friday, April 30.

Then it really closed for good the following night, May 1, in an all-nighter that will probably be remembered for years to come if anyone who was there can remember what happened.

For readers who haven't been following developer Bruce Ratner's project to bring a basketball arena and 16 towers to the heart of Brooklyn, (which is hopefully none of you) Freddy's came to play a central role in the community fight against the multi-billion dollar project.

The former watering hole and smalltime music venue was located on the corner of Dean Street and 6th Avenue in Prospect Heights, inside of the Atlantic Yards footprint, conveniently located next to restaurants, the subway and the precinct station house.

After Ratner announced plans to redevelop the area, Freddy's and Atlantic Yards property owners took a stand, vowing to fight the project, and later the state's use of eminent domain to seize land for the venture.

They lost. But Freddy's went down swinging, and for that they deserve credit, and the gratitude of every Brooklynite who congregated there to protest Ratner's project, and get chained to the bar for a few drinks in the process.

Over the course of the past several months, as the court decisions determining Atlantic Yards went into high speed, opponents of the plan needed a meeting place to stage rallies, cheer each other up and drown their sorrows. Freddy's became all of those things.

It was the scene of several memorable community moments. Freddy's dead-bolted chains to its bar and held an old-fashioned sit-in, where patrons actually handcuffed themselves to the bar, and vowed never to leave (or at least not until they had to take a leak, or go home to start dinner).

The day Ratner and elected officials gathered to break ground on the Barclays Center, protesters donned enormous masks- of stake holders who pushed the project- and held a mock press conference outside the bar. It drew as much media attention as the groundbreaking ceremony itself.

And then of course there was the last weekend.

Though some people hoped Freddy's would stay, and force a dramatic eviction action, in the end the bar accepted a deal from Ratner for the two remaining years on its lease, and agreed to move out. Now its looking to relocate.

So instead of a showdown, hundreds of people flocked to Freddy's to give it a proper sendoff. It was in many ways a more appropriate way to go then a bitter law-enforcement muddled exit.

And it was one good party. Believe us.
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