Civil Liberties

Last Call at Freddy's Bar


Freddy's, the great Brooklyn bar that has been fighting the good fight against New York's eminent domain abuse in the Atlantic Yards case, will be closing its doors at the end of the month, with April 30th set as the last day of business. As bar manager Don O'Finn explains:

The move is about the employees, and the business.  We're little guys.  We can't run our business into the ground as Ratner has and still survive. We have a lot of mouths to feed and we are not billionaires. The move is strategic. Very soon "Freddy's Next Bar" will be standing tall, and Ratner will be in rubble, with no stadium, and hopefully with justice and karma finding him.  This is a guy who closed a family homeless shelter in the dead of winter.

In order to assure our capacity to keep Freddy's alive in a another location, and keep people employed… we have to move the contents of the bar in a particular timely fashion to "Lock down' the next space, and thus we will not be facing an eviction situation in which a protest by chaining ourselves could happen. The Chains ("The Chains of Justice") have served their purpose…to raise awareness of corruption, and they will move with us, forever installed on that bar as a symbol of a united community and that community's power for affecting change.

Bad news, but hardly shocking, given that Freddy's, homeowner Daniel Goldstein, and the other heroic resisters were battling the combined forces of New York state, New York City, the Borough of Brooklyn, the Empire State Development Corporation, and politically-connected developer Bruce Ratner.

For more on why they fought, check out's "Billionaires vs. Brooklyn's Best Bar."