The emergency town hall was held in response to protests which have been erupting since news broke that Summerhill advertised cocktails in front of fake bullet holes
District Leader Geoffrey Davis held an “emergency town hall meeting” on Thursday evening at Repair the World Brooklyn, after a heated protest at Summerhill, a Crown Heights spot which has garnered infamous notoriety as “bullet-hole bar,” reports Gothamist. Protests have been erupting since news broke that the bar advertised cocktails in front of fake bullet holes and sold 40-ounce rosé in paper bags.
After the recent protest on Sunday at Summerhill, which drew dozens of residents and members of advocacy groups such as Equality for Flatbush, Movement to Protect the People and Save Our Streets Crown Heights, Davis scheduled Thursday’s meeting to mediate the dispute. Protesters accused bar owner Becca Brennan of racial insensitivity and exploiting the neighborhood’s violent past for profit.
“People of color are not props or backdrops,” said Toya Lillard, a Crown Heights resident. “If you are new to this community you are duty-bound to do some research. To be culturally literate. To know where you are. To know what came before you. It’s not our job to inform you or educate you. It’s yours.”
While many have called for the shutdown of Summerhill, Davis said that the neighborhood appreciates new businesses and acknowledged that Brennan put in hard work to open her bar.
“She fixed it up beautifully. The windows are open and it’s nice. It makes that block look nice and we want that,” said Davis. “But we just can’t have this disruption continuously.”
During the town hall, Brennan announced that she will not plaster over the controversial wall, despite having issued a formal apology last month in which she stated, “I recognize that I have more work to do.”
State Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, who was in attendance, expressed her dissatisfaction with Brennan.
“The truth is, your words say one thing but your body language and your attitude speaks very differently to us,” Richardson said. “The holes on the wall are offensive. People have died in this community. Do you get it?”
While a small number of Crown Heights residents came to Brennan’s defense, Davis said that he would draw his own conclusions and would actively work to shut the bar down if the conflict between Summerhill and the community remains irreconcilable.