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DIY Space Booted From Williamsburg Waterfront Expands in Bushwick

 Happy Fun Hideaway will be the second Bushwick venue following Secret Project Robot owned by former Monster Island's founders.
Happy Fun Hideaway
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BUSHWICK — They may have been evicted from their Williamsburg waterfront warehouse when real estate got hot, but Secret Project Robot's owners are proving the DIY scene is alive and booming further east in Brooklyn.

The legendary arts venue known for its bold array of shows from an interactive life-sized maze to Bushwick's first drag festival is adding a second creative magnet to the neighborhood later this month, director Rachel Nelson said.

"The new space is going to have a real liquor license, coffee and snacks and we'll be kind of copying our own aesthetic, hopefully making it feel like you got shipwrecked in the best place ever," Nelson said. "We'll be hosting bi-monthly exhibitions and dance parties with DJ friends, plus there is rumor of a comedy night."

The new spot "HappyFun Hideaway," an intimate gallery on Myrtle Avenue by the Central M train station, will soon be open seven days a week and will offer artists "chances to exhibit in a still casual and more accepting manner than a lot of commercial galleries," Nelson said.

The establishment won approval for its liquor license earlier this this by Bushwick's Community Board 4 (with the board's new stipulation that the bar close at midnight Sundays).

Nelson said the venue would indeed close on midnight Sundays, and would stay open until 2 a.m. Monday — Wednesday and 4 a.m. Thursday — Saturday.

"We have a yard and a beautiful sunset painting by Chris Uphues," an email announcing the space's opening said of the Brooklyn artist, "and the best servers in the world!"

Staff includes Bushwig performers Babes Trust and Matty Beats Horrorchata (hosting a weekly Friday drag queen night), members of the rock band Call of the Wild, the booking agent for Williamsburg bar Union Pool, staff from local venue Silent Barn and musician Gregory Stovetop (of the act Snake Dude), Nelson said.

HappyFun Hideaway comes two years after Secret Project Robot's founders were evicted from "Monster Island" on the Williamsburg waterfront and opened their first Bushwick location on Melrose Street. And just weeks ago "Monster Island" was torn down, raising concern among neighbors who claimed feral cats had remained in the artists' former home. 

"I can't wait to see you everywhere every day! You're the best!!" the venue's directors wrote to email subscribers. "xoxo."