Bowery Presents, the independent New York City music promoter that runs the Bowery Ballroom, Music Hall of Williamsburg and other venues, is in the advanced planning stages of opening a new 2000-seat venue in the East Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Crrently operating under the working title Brooklyn Classic," Bowery is in the process of getting approval for the music performance space from both Brooklyn's Community Board 1 and the State Liquor Authority.
Listed in the minutes from the community board's May 13th meeting is a presentation for “a proposed new music venue” at 319 Frost Street, between Morgan Avenues and Debevoise, which lists Bowery Presents owner Jim Glancy as the head of the new venue, Brian Harkenrider as manager and Hal Gold as head of operations under the name FroBro LLC, doing business as Brooklyn Classic (“Bowery Presents”).
When reached for comment, Jim Glancy, owner of Bowery Presents would only say that “we don’t have a timeline on opening and aren't doing press right now," but did say the Brooklyn Classic name is only a working title and they won't make a final decision on it until closer to its opening, which isn't expected until 2015.
319 Frost Street, where Bowery Presents' proposed new venue with the working title Brooklyn Classic is slated to open next year. (Google Maps)
According to a report in the Brooklyn Paper, which first broke the story, the venue will have a design similar to the Bowery's other venues with a ringed balcony circling a stage.
Brooklyn community boards, much like what happened in Manhattan in the nineties, are increasingly running up against the interests of bars and music venues as formerly-industrial areas are converted to residential use. (The Brooklyn Classic space, for example, was formerly occupied by a company called Eliou & Scopelitis Steel Fabrication business.) Issues of noise, parking and loitering are pitted against the economic, cultural and social value performance spaces offer. In December, the 250-person music space at Rough Trade NYC voluntarily shuttered to allow for "sound remediation," which stemmed from noise complaints. The venue has since opened back up.
According to the Brooklyn Paper, however, Bowery can build the venue without special permission per the area’s current zoning regulations. The periodical also noted some residents expressed concern over the impact the venue might have on the area. But the community board's rulings are not binding and the State Liquor Authority has final say on granting a liquor permit.
The new venue is the latest for the expanding NYC-based music promotions company whose growing slate of venues now includes the Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom, the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Terminal Five and a performance space at Rough Trade NYC that opened last November. The company also puts on shows at Webster Hall (though that contract is ending) and Madison Square Garden. The music concern also promotes shows regionally though Bowery South and Bowery Boston, as well as in Philadelphia at Union Transfer and Boot & Saddle; in Portland, ME at the State Theatre and Port City M H; and in New Orleans at the Civic Theatre.