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Brooklyn performance venue abruptly shut down due to Department of Buildings violation

Brooklyn performance venue abruptly shut down due to DOB violation
Brooklyn performance venue abruptly shut down due to DOB violation 02:22

NEW YORK -- The future of a well-known rock venue in Brooklyn remains unknown after it was abruptly shut down a few nights ago by city inspectors.

It left bands preparing to perform there scrambling to find new locations.

Guitar player Chris McCarthy has performed with his heavy metal rock band Internal Bleeding numerous times at the Greenpoint bar and venue, Saint Vitus. They even proudly filmed a music video there.

"Saint Vitus has a certain prestige to it that is undeniable," McCarthy said.

So when his other band's planned performance for this Thursday was unexpectedly moved to a different location, he was crushed.

The reason -- the Manhattan Avenue venue was shuttered in the middle of a performance Friday by the Department of Buildings.

"To not have them around, even for a week, is kind of detrimental," McCarthy said.

According to the DOB, inspectors "found approximately 250 people on the first floor of the building, assembled in an illegal eating and drink establishment," claiming it should be used for a commercial store instead.

The DOB says this was in response to over a dozen 311 complaints from members of the public, but City Councilman Keith Powers is hearing otherwise.

"They're all stemming, it seems like, from one person who's been complaining about them, an old disgruntled patron," Powers said.

Powers says the bar owners bought the whole building and completely soundproofed it. He and other council members are helping them re-open quickly.

"It's a reminder about challenges that a small business has to go through," Powers said.

Bar management says they're "saddened and deeply frustrated by the circumstances." They're now moving all scheduled concerts to nearby venues and cross-honoring all tickets.

While the bar may appear to be dark and inconspicuous from the outside, neighbors tell CBS New York it needs no signage; everyone knows what it is. It's been around for more than a decade.

"It should be a landmark," Brooklyn resident Christopher Leon Johnson said.

Neighbors say it should be saved.

According to the DOB, this is the second time the bar has been issued a violation. Another similar one was issued in July 2023 and the DOB says it was not resolved.

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