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Brooklyn brownstones, gentrification

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UPDATED: 7/19/2017 4:17 PM EST

Becca Brennan, owner of Summerhill, has released an apology to Gothamist for being insensitive.

“I truly never meant it in that way, but I recognize that it was insensitive,” Becca Brennan, the 31-year-old attorney-turned-restauranteur said. “I was excited to keep the wall as a shout out to the different businesses that occupied the space before us but my intention was misinterpreted and I’m sorry for that.”

“I also want to clarify about our bottles of rosé,” Brennan added. “We serve them in ice buckets and we have them on our menu because rosé is delicious, and it’s a great deal for what amounts to more than a standard bottle of wine. We have no intention of serving them in any other way.”


One of the (many) f-cked up things about gentrification is how gentrifiers think it’s okay to insert themselves within the culture of whatever neighborhood they’re taking over.

Which is why Summerhill, Crown Heights’ new “boozy sandwich shop,” thought a “bullet hole” ridden wall in their establishment would be a cute opportunity for a photo opp.

Owner Becca Brennan, a 31-year-old former attorney, told Gothamist that the decision to preserve the wall damage and describe the damage as “bullet holes” for promotional purposes was a “cheeky” one. Because as we all know, gun violence in this country (and specifically in Crown Heights) is just so damn cheeky, right?

“Just looking at the angle I don’t know if that is possible that that’s a bullet hole,” Brennan said to Gothamist. “We call it that because if you look at the history, someone seriously said, ‘Isn’t that the place where we could buy guns?’ And then we were like, ‘okay.'”

A commenter on a discussion board on Brooklynian mentioned that the property used to be a corner store where you could buy a “certified pre-owned” firearm back in the day.

“If this is the right place, it had an entire secret room complete with a hidden false wall that didn’t show up on the building plans,” the commenter wrote on the thread.

In addition to the decision to maintain the holes in the wall, the establishment also plays up the establishment’s location by selling Forty Ounce Rosé, which comes in a bottle that imitates the 40 oz Colt 45. Brennan wants to serve them in paper bags.

When asked by Gothamist about their decision to sell the 40s in bags, which other bars in Brooklyn have been called out about, she does what pretentious gentrifiers does best — brushes the accusations off.

“I’m not an authority so don’t feel comfortable commenting on anything other than my business—a new bar and restaurant that locals (/my neighbors) seem to really enjoy and appreciate,” she said to Gothamist, via email.

Many locals have taken to the streets since the publishing of the piece on Tuesday to demonstrate their (rightful) disgust. Fliers have appeared around the neighborhood on Wednesday with Summerhill’s logo associated with the words “racist,” “gentrifier,” and “colonialist.”

People have also taken to commenting on the establishment’s Instagram page about their feelings on the matter.

“Great. Then you can arrange those flowers on the graves of the children that died from the violence you promote in the neighborhood,” one commenter typed underneath a photo of a floral arrangement.

Another commenter tells her story about how she got yelled at, interrupted, and belittled when she tried to engage the owner about how wrong it is to glamorize gun violence.

“As a Brooklynite, an African American, and as someone who runs a nonprofit organization, I am sickened by the callousness and willful ignorance,” she continued. “The owner said that she was ‘helping’ the community and the kids in it because she installed cameras outside of her business. As if installing cameras helps anyone but her and her patrons. After that, I was done … there was no need for you to yell at me or for your spittle to hit my face. I came in peacefully. I left after it was clear that this was not a “teachable moment.”