Neighborhood taqueria/one-time illicit after-hours club El Gavilan has finally closed its doors, depriving the neighborhood of its authentically crafted tacos and, for a time, evening entertainment of the even spicier variety.
The eatery, located on the corner of Church Avenue and East 5th Street, appears to have kept a relatively low profile over the past few years. (If you've heard of anything we've missed, please let us know in the comments below.)
But now, sitting shuttered with a set of "For Rent" signs taped to its red exterior, the echo of so many illegal dance parties still emanating from within, we can't resist the urge to take a look back into El Gavilan's sordid past.
Reports of the restaurant's troubles first surfaced in the summer of 2009, when the Kensington Brooklyn Blog received a couple of juicy emails alleging that the restaurant, which reviewers on Yelp variously referred to as "terrific" and "not a life transforming experience," was in fact a comparatively savory front for a nightclub and possible prostitution ring.
The first email recounts an evening in which one would-be patron was denied access by police, who were finally taking action following multiple reports of "loud music played at four and five in the morning."
The second email, though, describes a scene considerably more distasteful:
"At one time it was a nice neighborhood restaurant. In the past couple of months, it has become a problematic nightclub complete with a knife fight out front, alleged prostitution vans coming and going all night, defecation on a local's front lawn and general loud, unruly behavior which winds down around 6am."
According the the Daily News, the establishment was slapped with a fistful of citations ranging from selling alcohol after hours, unlicensed sale of alcohol and operating an unlicensed dance hall, employing an unlicensed security guard and serving alcohol to minors.
Calls to the 66th Precinct were not returned as of press time.