The Day: Locals Speak Out Against New Sapolo, Violence and Changes on G and R Trains

A 23-year-old man was shot and killed near midnight on May 31 on Grand Ave. and Myrtle Ave. in Clinton Hill. A stray bullet broke the front window of Castro's Mexican Restaurant on Myrtle Ave. (Photo by Emily Field)
A 23-year-old man was shot and killed near midnight on May 31 on Grand Ave. and Myrtle Ave. in Clinton Hill. A stray bullet broke the front window of Castro’s Mexican Restaurant on Myrtle Ave. (Photo by Emily Field)

Good morning, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.

Last night at a Community Board 2 meeting, Clinton Hill residents voiced concerns about New Sapolo Restaurant at 501 Myrtle Avenue, which they say is connected to a recent increase in youth loitering, street violence and the shooting death of Antonio Wilson on May 31.

Wilson, a 23-year-old Bronx resident, was hit by a stray bullet as he was leaving Fork Cafe on Myrtle Avenue, DNAinfo reported. As of yesterday, no arrests have been made.

“This establishment has no regard for the community,” said Illiana Murray, a life-long Clinton Hill resident. “They serve brazenly to minors in cups to go, they allow youths to loiter on the sidewalk.” They also bring out drinks to people in their cars outside, she told the community board, adding that she’d recently purchased a pina colada from New Sapolo, which was served in a styrofoam cup and a paper bag.

311 records show that three calls were made last month alleging underage drinking at that address, but the cases were closed due to a lack of evidence. Murray said she and other neighbors have also complained about New Sapolo to Council Member Letitia James, the 88th Precinct and the New York State Liquor Authority.

David Peppas told The Nabe the day after Wilson’s murder that he had passed by a large crowd on Myrtle Avenue on his way home to Ryerson Street. A half hour later, he heard a rapid fire of gun shots. He said the police had recently told him that the area had been targeted as a “hot spot” for violence, and that New Sapolo had become a popular after-hours hang-out for youths.

Sim Walker, co-owner of SoCo restaurant on Myrtle Avenue, said that New Sapolo is “a bad neighbor.” SoCo’s windows were shot out on Friday night, along with the windows of Castro’s restaurant next door. “They just don’t care,” he said.

Due to lingering damage from Hurricane Sandy, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is halting R train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan for the next year, The Wall Street Journal reported. Also, starting this month the G train will be closed for 16 weekends to complete repairs, as shown in this video from the MTA. How will these changes effect your commute, locals? 

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to remove an error in the reporting of New Sapolo Restaurant’s New York State liquor license status, which is up to date and in good standing. As well as an erroneous date of the shooting.

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