Freddy’s Bar — R.I.P.

Though overshadowed by Daniel Godstein’s heroic, determined fight against the taking of his home for the infamous Atlantic Yards redevelopment project in Brooklyn, Freddy’s Bar, a long-established local saloon has been fighting the good fight as well. But in the end, it too settled with the redeveloper. The New York Post reports that

[Freddy’s manager] O’Finn said that developer Ratner and Freddy’s owner Frank Yost reached an agreement last Thursday that allowed the bar to move its contents to a new location — an alternative to continued fighting and a likely loss of everything in the condemnation process that is making room for the proposed Barclays Center.

“[Yost] struck a deal with Ratner,” O’Finn said, adding that Freddy’s didn’t make a fortune from the negotiations. “It’s not more than what we would get if we were open for the remainder of our lease — it’s not some tremendous amount of money.” Stephen Brown, Freddy’s Bar, Eminent Domain Poster Child to Close April 30, N.Y. Post, April 22, 2010. 

That settlement may not be a “tremendous” amount of money, but it provides a greater measure of damages than what Yost would have likely received as “just compensation” had he gone to the mat in an eminent domain valuation trial. Under New York law, no compensation is provided for business losses suffered when a busoiness property is taken by eminent domain.

The closing of Freddy’s Bar appears to be the kind of rending of the social fabric of a neighborhood that Jane Jacobs deplored in her famous book, “The Death and Life of American Cities.”

Read more about it on line at:

For coverage of this event by the New York Times, see Kareem Fahim, Last Call Looms at Freddy’s, In the Path of Atlantic Yards, N.Y. Times, April 30, 2010, at p. A18.