Getting to Know Brooklyn Bowl, Which Opened This Weekend With an O’Death Show and a Fucked Up Afterparty


At Brooklyn Bowl’s inaugural concert this past Friday, local country/punk boys O’ Death were, as usual, 3/5ths shirtless, though the nudity was perhaps unnecessary given the new Williamsburg/Greenpoint entertainment complex’s four massive, overly compensatory ceiling fans. Along with the multi-purpose space’s handsome leather sofas, dark wooden tables, full DJ booth, Blue Ribbon food menu, and myriad giant television high-def screens, the venue’s dauntingly massive cooling system perhaps helps explain the 16-lane alley and 594-capacity music venue’s long gestation and $50/hour “premium” lane pricing. (As in: you pay extra to bowl during show times, even though you’ve already shelled out for a ticket just to get in).

At least, so far, they’re being nice about it. “Have a good time, alright?” repeated the ID checker to each entrant when I returned on Sunday, the Bowl being the official after-party spot for the deeply sunburned survivors of Jelly’s relocated and relaunched Pool Parties. The matchingly maroon-shirted and unfailingly polite staffers all appreciably lacked the hipper-than-thou sneer that’s known to characterize the service orbiting around the Bedford L stop: two-tone bowling shoes were dispensed cheerfully, and questions about the “Rock and Roll” gravy and cheese fries’ ingredients were received by servers with an admirable lack of hostility.

Already a notably slick departure from neighboring bowling alley the Gutter, Brooklyn Bowl sported a DJ Sunday night who, as the night wore on, tossed familiar mainstream indie fare on the PA/big screens (Franz Ferdinand and MGMT, back to back!) while yupsters tipsily aimed for the pins. Those mighty ceiling fans, however, kept on spinning. One twenty-something ducked into the smoking area out front, seeking refuge. “It’s cold in there!” he exclaimed. More money, more problems. Brooklyn Bowl, welcome to the neighborhood.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2009

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