Loss of Iris Cafe Sidewalk Seating Lamented

Willowtown’s Iris Cafe has dismantled its outdoor seating, reportedly after neighbors complained about noise. Our man with a cam Karl “this upsets my routine greatly” Junkersfeld documents the simple joys of alfresco dining, and decries their demise. Video after the jump.Note: Mr. Junkersfeld’s cat apparently deleted the YouTube vid by accident. Hey, it happens. But Karl is still upset about the outdoor seating.

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  • ABC

    I’m confused, did they have a permit for sidewalk seating and the bench didn’t qualify somehow? I don’t get it

  • Mickey

    I guess a dog owner got upset that the tree bench took away one of Fido’s favorite places to pee. What would you rather have in front of a cafe: a bench or a dog urinal? Some would choose the latter!

  • MrMontague

    The video is impassioned but not quite investigative journalism. They needed a sidewalk cafe permit from the Department of Consumer Affairs in order to have seating outside and probably aren’t able to get it because of there not being enough distance from the curb. I love the Iris as much as anyone but the law’s the law and even if someone didn’t complain, if a city inspector had walked by (which theoretically is supposed to happen a couple of times a year) and seen it, the same result would have occurred.

  • gc

    Mickey,why the conclusion that it was a dog owner that complained? I don’t have a dog myself but I don’t see the connection. There are certainly plenty of other trees in the neighborhood.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Yes, they should of had permits but there wasn’t a problem before the complaint to the Dept. of Consumer Affairs Department. My guess is that Iris Cafe would have squeezed by the summer months of August and September if no complaint was made. What do you think?

  • Mickey

    gc: it was a joke. Wednesday’s Open Thread contained a string of comments from dog lovers and dog haters regarding where dogs should be allowed to urinate.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    The complaint could have came from another restaurant owner who went through the process of obtaining a permit proper.

  • Cathy

    @Craig, yes it was a great bench for nice folks just drinking coffee. While you’re at it, can you punch the face of the person who let my cat loose? Thanks.

  • Jorale-man

    @Craig 5:46 – take it easy, man. Life’s too short.

    I wonder if it was someone who’s apartment was above the restaurant. The constant chatter might have gotten annoying after a while. There are still a lot of places on Montague with sidewalk seating, as well as Tazza on Henry (my preferred outdoor spot).

  • Jorale-man

    oops – make that “whose apartment”

  • Cathy

    It was probably somebody who couldn’t get to the laundromat fast enough or who couldn’t take 2 steps off the sidewalk.

  • william

    The person who used to live above the Iris Cafe moved out a few months ago because of the noise and congestion. Maybe he did it. I am not sure if that apartment has been re-rented. The old tenant had been there for 10-years.

  • william

    Cathy, has anyone put-up a Bee-Bop poster in the iris Cafe? Maybe someone has seen him.

  • Cathy

    William, that is a great idea. I don’t think Rachel would mind. She is very kind. Too bad about her bench.

  • Cupcake

    First, we didn’t loose a neighborhood gathering place. You can go inside. Second, I’m surprised Craig has such a violent reaction unless he is just kidding. Otherwise, it sounds like screw the neighbors who live here and want to enjoy the peace and quiet of the lovely neighborhood in which we live — a neighborhood and not restaurant row.

  • WillowtownCop

    I can’t see how the City can fine Iris if people bring their own folding chairs and continue to sit outside as a big screw you to the person who complained.

  • Ginny

    In Italy they have wonderful piazzas where the community gets together to share their lives. The cafe gave the neighborhood a little taste of that. What a shame, and shame on the person who complained.

  • dog lover

    Cupcake makes a good point. Pity the good neighbors who have to put up with the noise of people who don’t actually live on their block.

  • Andrew Porter

    Sure is hot, ain’t it? With all this sweltering weather, lots of windows open, more chance tempers are frayed and intolerance of noise is lowered.

    If you’ve ever watched the movie “The Naked City,” you’re stunned by how much TV and air conditioning has changed the way we live.

  • Elmer Fudd

    @Craig. Find the Heights Player a hole who let Bee-Bop loose, and punch her in the face 9-times. Please.

  • shamrock

    @Craig, after your deeds are done, maybe WillowtownCop can arrange to have you incarcerated.

    Perhaps you’re in need of a chill pill (??).

  • Cathy

    Thank you Elmer. That was very funny. If somebody specifically puts up a sign that says “don’t let this cat loose over the weekend”…why let the cat loose… Morons! They were allegedly worried about costumes.

  • hoppy

    Perhaps there can be a new weekly segment on this blog entitled “Who would you like to see get punched in the face nine times by Craig?” It could be a disobedient dog walker, an idling trucker, a lawless cyclist, etc.

  • Cathy

    @Hoppy, don’t forget the clerk at Lassen’s who screws up your sandwich, the delivery guy from Happy Days that takes too long, the dry cleaner who lost your shirt and the girl at the laudromat because you lost one quarter in the dryer…

  • JAFO

    @Cathy. Now you’re just being silly. Nobody eats at or orders from Happy Days.

  • DCA

    This is the list of official approved sidewalk cafes (as of July 2010, which is the latest list available): http://home2.nyc.gov/html/dca/html/licenses/swc_brooklyn.shtml

    You’ll notice how few sidewalk cafes are on the list and the large number of illegal sidewalk cafes that actually exist. It takes 1 phone call to 311 (or via online) to shut it down.

  • Elmer Fudd

    Here, here. Hoppy. Great Idea. Is Craig up for it too?

  • bhts

    even if you’re moronic enough to have a problem with the great gathering place that is Iris, u should know that having people sitting out there is like free security for the hood. people on the street = safe street. but this IS brooklyn heights…so there’s a high douchebag alert for old farts who’ve been here since the 1800s. maybe its time for a sit-in. everyone bring your own folding chair in protest.

  • carol

    I love sidewalk cafes but why would a restaurant owner think that the public sidewalk in front of their establishment belonged to them? The scale of NYC inevitably brings rules, permits for sidewalk cafes being one of many.
    @DCA: some of the cafes on Montague don’t need permits because they are within the property, not on the public sidewalk.

  • Shanny

    How Sad that one person ruins what is primarily a neighborhood gathering place. We aren’t talking about a bar with loud music and drunken antics. This lovely spot is quiet and closes by 5pm. I have never found the noise level to be bothersome. Most folks are at work all day and by the time they come home Iris is closed. It’s a shame I can no longer have an ice coffee outside while meeting my neighbors. Ironic the benches outside the laundromat have been there for years and no one complains? Iris is a very welcome addition to the hood, the first in many years. I will drink my coffee on the curb or standing outside. Screw the benches and the a@@ that made the complaint! GET A LIFE! :(