It's last call at one of Williamsburg's pioneering hipster hangs: Black Betty, which has been a Metropolitan Avenue mainstay for over a decade, is closing down after a dispute with the landlord. Co-owner Bud Schmeling tells Brooklyn Paper he thought he had a deal to increase their monthly rent from $2,700 to $5,000, and he even paid a $35,000 fee as an incentive. But he says the landlord went behind his back and found new tenants willing to pay even more. (The landlord insists he gave Schmeling a chance to renegotiate their lease but he was too slow to respond.) The dark yet upbeat and unpretentious haven for dancing, debauchery, live music and Middle Eastern food just celebrated its 10th anniversary this month; on June 15th it will join Stinger Bar and Kokie's in Billyburg bar heaven after a final blowout party. It's unclear what will take its place, but Schmeling says, "We were definitely the first of a new breed of Williamsburg bars and performance places—and I don’t see something truly replacing Black Betty."
Black Betty Goes Dark in Williamsburg
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