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WHY JOIN ?

  1. Get real support for your Bar, Restaurant, Venue or Cafe!
  2. Daily help with your businesses from other members
  3. Updates on new laws and rules that effect your bottom line
  4. Vetted directory of vendors and services
  5. Group discounts  
  6. Access to local politicians & policy makers 
  7. Meetings with members & speakers specialized in our field


Leadership TEAM

Dave Rosen

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Dave Rosen, a Brooklyn and Queens bar and restaurant owner, formerly sat on Brooklyn Community Board 1, and graduated the NYPD Citizen's Police Academy. Dave formed the Brooklyn Nightlife and Restaurant Coalition with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.Most recently, Dave was appointed by City Council to serve on the NYC’s first Nightlife Advisory Board to advise elected officials and city agencies on nightlife related policy matters.In 2015, Dave created OutSmartBK, a social media based public safety campaign which solidified a working partnership between the NYPD and North Brooklyn nightlife industry. Based on the success of the Brooklyn campaign, OutSmart LGBTQ was launched by the NYPD during the summer of 2016 and OutSmartNYC is scheduled to begin anti violence and early intervention training for nightlife professionals in the coming months.Dave has worked with numerous local non profits and community organizations, including Churches United for Fair Housing, NYC Together, Neighbors Allied. For Good Growth (NAG), The Northside Townhall, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), and The Greenpoint Chamber. He is the proud father of 3 children and magna cum laude graduate of Duke University.


Felice Kirby

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Felice Kirby, co-founder. 

Owner, managing partner Teddys Bar & Grill since 1987; sold business in 2015. Currently helps direct the non- profit North Brooklyn Angels,  a Soup Kitchen. Felice is a powerhouse and has a decades-long background in community organizing & sits on the Board of several organizations including North Brooklyn Neighbors, The Firehouse Community Center, The North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce & The L Train Coalition.

Raffaello VanCouten

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Raffaello VanCouten  VanCouten’s love of food started in his grandmother’s kitchen assisting her with prep, cooking and packaging. This love tiered into training at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Keeping to a family promise, VanCouten graduated from Law School, but quickly after, decided to chase his true passion, hospitality. With 19 years in the industry, VanCouten has climbed the ladder and held such positions as Corporate Mixologist, Service Educational Director, Sommelier, Brand Ambassador, Bar Consultant, Assistant General Manager, General Manger and now Restaurant Owner. VanCouten also teaches at the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC (ICE NYC). VanCouten has worked alongside such notable chef as Michael Blaine, “CIA,” Thomas Keller, “Per Se and French Laundry,” Alexandra Guarnaschell,i “Iron Chef and Kyle Knall, “30 Under 30 Winner.” He has been involved with and headed projects such as Atlantic Grill,Blue Water Grill, Blue Fin, Per Se, 675, Bunker, Maysville Restaurant, Butter Restaurant and 1 Oak. VanCouten’s years of experience have driven him to Restaurant Ownership of MIDNIGHTS Restaurant and most recently the launch of a Coffee Brand and Coffee Shop, “Eleva Coffee.”Give customers a reason to do business with you.

Dhruv Chopra

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Dhruv Chopra grew up partially in Mumbai, India and partially in Connecticut, USA, playing jazz saxophone and guitar. He studied economics at Yale University and for many years worked in investment management, with a focus on sustainable investments. He’s always been an avid member of NYC’s vibrant music scene, particularly in the worlds of indie rock, techno, and jazz. 

Dhruv is one of the three owners of the live music organizer, PopGun Presents, and one of the Founding members of the Bushwick venue, Elsewhere. He heads up Operations for both. Together, the companies seek to shift emerging culture in NYC by showcasing and developing emerging musical talent across genres, in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and beyond.

Jess Tabac

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Jess Tabac, has been a participant in the beer world, for the past ten  years in different facets, ranging from sales, logistics, and brewery  management. She has been with Brooklyn Brewery for five years, and is  currently the General Manager  of the Tasting Room. 

Come on by for a beer.

Charley Ryan

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Charley Ryan was raised in Michigan, and was a league bowler at age 12 and an All-American swimmer at 16. Upon graduation from Dartmouth College, Charley worked in the financial market. Later he move applied his worldwide contacts and knowledge of market mechanics to establish an independent brokerage. Mr. Ryan shifted his focus to restaurants (Cowgirl Hall of Fame restaurants, Global 33, and Aunt Baba Jean’s) and venues, including Wetlands Preserve, where he and Peter engineered a renaissance of the legendary club. Following Wetlands’ closure in 2001, they jointly developed the concepts that became Brooklyn Bowl. Charleyhas served as an elected Councilman and Police Commissioner in his adopted home of Leonia, New Jersey and currently is on the Board of the Open Space Alliance, a parks advocacy group in Brooklyn, as well as the Board of the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce..

Andy McDowell

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Andy McDowell opened Pete’s Candy Store, Williamsburg’s first nightly live music venue, in 1999. Prior to opening Pete’s, he worked as a Production Designer in film and television. He has lived in Williamsburg and Greenpoint since 1990, raising a family and occasionally getting involved in community and industry affairs.

Esther Bell

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Since 2010, Esther Bell is the founder & owner of THE WEST named after her favorite Brooklynite, business woman, director, writer, producer & entertainer, MAE WEST. The WEST is place that has cultivated a friendly everyone is welcome vibe that opens at 7am as coffeehouse w/ breakfast & lunch & evolves into a full bar with snacks till 2am. Before, Bell wrote and directed several independent feature films that were praised in the NY Times,Variety and later distributed by Sundance & Showtime, she also produced/directed for MTV, CBS, NBC, Current & IFC. Ms. Bell is also featured in several books called ‘The Last Bohemia’ by Robert Anasi (a book mostly written in the West). "One Breath", Adam Skolnick, &"Girl Director" Andrea Richards.

Erin Gerken

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Owner-Operator at Cafe Colette, 
Past: The Box NYC and La Esquina 


Studied Dance & Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University

Josh Cohen

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NEED BIO

Katherine Buenaflor

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need bio

96 Berry Street, Brooklyn, New York, New York 11249, United States

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