By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bay Ridge’s vibrant bar scene is undergoing some major changes, as new nightspots are opening where old favorites once stood and other watering holes are operating under different names.
The spot once occupied by the Wicked Monk, a popular bar at 8415 Fifth Ave., is being taken over by a new bar, Galanilla, according to Community Board 10 officials who said the owners of the new place have applied for a state liquor license.
The Wicked Monk moved to another location, 9510 Third Ave., in October, 2011 and closed the Fifth Avenue site.
Meanwhile, another nightclub, Amnesia, at 10007 Fourth Ave., which had billed itself as “Brooklyn’s only Brazilian steakhouse,” is now operating under another name with a different theme.
Fran Vella-Marrone, chairman of community board’s Police and Public Safety Committee, said the nightclub is now called Club Cats. “It seems that an establishment called Café Cat located in Sheepshead Bay was closed due to damage caused by Super-Storm Sandy and the clientele were looking for a new location,” Vella-Marrone said.
The owner, Frank Sofia, told Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann that business at Amnesia wasn’t strong and that he would be making changes. “He will be changing the menu and will have karaoke,” Vella-Marrone said.
Amnesia had been the target of criticism from local residents, who charged that the steakhouse blared music into the street and attracted rowdy, noisy patrons.
The community board will keep a watchful eye in the new bar-restaurant opening in its place, Vella-Marrone said. “Although there have been no recent complaints regarding this establishment, the committee was still concerned with its operation and asked District Manager Beckmann to obtain a written instrument from the owner detailing the change in method of operation,” she said.
The community board discussed the liquor license application filed by the owners of Galanilla at its Dec. 17 meeting. The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) asks local community boards to offer recommendations on whether a particular liquor license should be granted.
In the case of Galanilla, community board members said they had no objections, provided the owners refrain from allowing patrons to use a back yard as a drinking spot and close all of the bar’s doors and windows when live music is being performed to cut down on the noise level.
The Galanilla will not have a full service kitchen, Vella-Marrone said. But the bar will have a convection oven and a microwave, allowing for a limited menu of food to be served, she said.
Bay Ridge is famous for its bar scene and nightlife. The neighborhood’s commercial strips, Third and Fifth avenues, contain dozens of nightspots.