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.