Town purchases blighted Oxygen Bar in Rocky Point
Rocky Point may soon have one less eyesore in its downtown business district.
After four years, Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point) said the town finalized its purchase of Rocky Point’s Oxygen Bar property. The Town of Brookhaven acquired the land for $525,000 — a sum $275,000 less than the property owner’s asking price.
On May 9, 2011, the town shut down the business after four people were involved in a non-fatal shooting on the premises. The bar’s Place of Assembly permit, which allows people to gather and conduct activities at the location, also expired.
For several years, the owner of the Oxygen Bar property rented the establishment to various operators and promoters. Cafe Brianna was one of many businesses that used the establishment before the Oxygen Bar, but that eventually closed due to limited parking. When the bar came into town, initially the CVS across the street allowed cars from the neighboring business to park in its parking lot, but that agreement changed after the shooting.
As the area strayed from a family-friendly location, the town hoped purchasing the property would help revitalize the area — something Bonner started working on before she got into office.
According to Bonner, the bar’s poor business plan contributed to its failure in the business district.
“It’s one thing to always have a dream,” Bonner said. “It’s another thing to meet and discuss your business plan.”
The bar owners held wet T-shirt contests, gentlemen’s nights and other events to attract residents to the premises, but their attempts were unsuccessful. Since the bar closed in 2011, the property has remained vacant.
Now, the town may demolish the building before spring. The plan is to landscape and beautify the property after tearing down the building. The project would add to the property’s infrastructure improvements, which the town finished last year.
“This is wonderful for Rocky Point,” Bonner said. “[The bar’s] always been a blight and an eyesore even when it was operating.”