BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — One of the largest churches in the city says that some of its ministry is being compromised by thick grease and wastewater coming from one of the city’s most popular restaurant chains.
The Brooklyn Tabernacle says the potentially hazardous problem has persisted for so long that it must sue Dallas BBQ to get it to clean up its act.
More specifically, the megachurch’s annex is the scene of the dilemma. It is a 60,000-square-foot basement complex at 190 Livingston Street that houses a variety of church facilities, including a gym for school-age and young adult church members.
It was in the gym that Brian Pettrey, an associate pastor at Brooklyn Tabernacle, spoke on Thursday about an indicator of the problem. He had stood next to a puddle of liquid on the gym’s floor.
“The puddle is a continuation of the problem that’s persisted for the past several years,” Rev. Pettrey said in an interview. “We cleaned it up yesterday, [and] it’s back again today.”
While his church, like most others, looks above for inspiration and salvation, Pettrey said that he and the rest of the leadership at Brooklyn Tabernacle keep having to look up for something else.
“We’re underneath Dallas BBQ,” he said, pointing to the ceiling of the basement annex.
From pipes just below and just above that ceiling, the pastor said, something, a lot of it, has been pouring down into the church’s facilities.
The church released images of the leakage as part of the lawsuit that it filed on Tuesday after, it said, multiple pleas to Dallas BBQ to fix the problem of leaking fluid went unanswered.
The church also stated that scenes of insulation materials on the floor, loosened by torrents of heavy, putrid liquid, have kept happening, over and over in the last couple of years.
Daniel Arbeeny is a church member whose four children are involved in some of the church’s programs, that often take place in its annex facility in the building basement.
“Raw chicken? Sewage water?” he asked, referring to the substances that he said he is seen come out of pipes in the ceiling. “Whatever it is,” he continued, “it’s gross.”
Pettrey said that activities in which some of the thousands of church members participate have had to be canceled multiple times because of the pipe leaking problem. He said the frequency and severity had left the church no choice but to take legal action.
“We hate to have to do this to force their hand,” Rev. Pettrey said. “We’re a church. We just don’t want to have a problem anymore.”
Dallas BBQ, as well as the company that manages the building, Thor Equities, are defendants in the civil suit. Neither company responded to requests from PIX11 News for comment.