There’s an 86-inch flat screen TV facing out the big front window toward the outdoor seating area at IV Purpose (“for purpose”), a Black-owned sports bar and restaurant in Brooklyn that opened in July 2020. It looks out onto Fulton Street — the main drag through Brooklyn’s historically Black but contentiously gentrifying Bedford-Stuyvesant.
During a summer that featured a historic NBA playoff season hosted inside a “bubble,” IV Purpose co-owner Darnell George says it turned out to be the safest and sometimes the loudest place for the neighborhood to enjoy games and other events together, a welcome change after several months of social isolation.
And it very well might be the best — or at least the most entertaining — embodiment of a new chapter in the history of Black credit unions.
The three IV Purpose co-owners have known each other since at least their high school days in Bed-Stuy. In 2019, they decided to pool their savings and open up a sports bar. There aren’t very many in the neighborhood, none really along this stretch of Fulton Street.
They found an ideal location, close to a subway stop, a former two-story restaurant space but it needed a lot of work. It had been vacant for so long that the unit had its gas meter removed — and unfortunately, due to a political tussle involving former NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, there was a temporary moratorium on…