Brooklyn Bowl Crew Opening New Venue with Band Spaces, Art Studios and Deck
EAST WILLIAMSBURG — Three-and-a-half years after they met while bartending at Brooklyn Bowl, when the renowned music mecca was still an infant, Keith Hamilton and his friends are taking their connections and skills further into Brooklyn — to transform an East Williamsburg warehouse into a venue featuring a bar, band spaces, art studios and a giant roof deck.
"We wanted to create a place where artists could hang out and be nurtured by each other," said Hamilton, now a manager at Brooklyn Bowl, who noted his future space at 153 Morgan Ave. is a chance for him and his partners to merge multiple art forms.
"Our experience at Brooklyn Bowl has been great but we're doing something different," he said of the multidisciplinary space.
And he noted that his venue would host frequent concerts by "really phenomenal bands, but the bar doesn't need a band just to function."
The future venue, called Our Wicked Lady, will include a 1,200-square-foot bar and several band practice spaces on the first floor, while the upstairs will hold six artist studios and a 1,600-square-foot roof deck, Hamilton explained.
The bar — which will host frequent but not daily concerts — will also feature rotating art exhibits and even furniture made by local craftsmen, with an "industrial" vibe that's "not fancy but not divey," he noted.
Meanwhile, the roof will offer a chance for more events like film screenings, said the 38-year-old filmmaker, who just launched the web series Brooklynites.
"We're all artists in our own right and love the bar culture...we wanted to create a place where artists would hang out and be inspired," said Hamilton, noting that one partner, Zach Glass, is in the band Bugs in the Dark and that another partner, Wayne Gordon, works at the music label Daptone Records. Glass is a former manager at Brooklyn Bowl and Peels in the East Village, and Gordon is an occasional bartender at the Williamsburg venue.
Realtor Vincent Lopez — who previously sold the 3rd Ward collective building nearby — said Our Wicked Lady's lease was a chance for the space to transform from its former identity as a scaffolding workers training center.
"They were given four free months to do a buildout [of the space]," said Lopez of construction work over the next few months to divide up the space, whose lease Crains New York first reported.
Hamilton said the artist and band spaces would be ready by Nov. 1, adding the bar would potentially be open by November as well.