Just a few months after the closure of Black Bear Bar, its neighbor on North 6th Street, Cubana Social, is leaving Williamsburg after six years. No, it’s not the changes in Cuba that are to blame. According to the closing announcement by owner Christina Bouza, it’s changes in the neighborhood.
Notably, much of Cubana’s staff & musician family has been with us since the beginning. Quite unusually, we’ve experienced more of a change in neighbors than employees. Cubana Social is one of few remaining old faces in a barely recognizable Williamsburg. While realtors have taken the place of artists in curating a new surreality, rents have soared sky high, fueling the cycle of displacement.
The self-described “Havana meets Brooklyn” restaurant isn’t the only venue to leave North 6th Street. General Assembly, where Bouza worked as a manager before opening Cubana Social in a former building-supply shop next-door, closed in 2014, and Cameo followed suit last year. Gay bar This n’ That, a mainstay for drag performances and the like, closed in October. Ilan Hall’s restaurant in Space Ninety 8, The Gorbals, also recently left the block.
Cubana Social’s final 10 days of programming, dubbed Diez Noches de Amor, reflected its music programming, and included Latin jazz, salsa, Cuban folk/roots, and a DJ spinning timba and tropical hits. Here’s what’s on deck for the final weekend.
12-15 Thu – Final Night 1 of 3: WAYNE TUCKER AFRO-LATIN JAZZ Trio Live @ 7, 8, 9pm feat. Yoni Marrianer, Eran Fink & Special Guests // Friends & Family Dinner (open to all) // DJ MICKEY PEREZ spins vintage funky Latin vinyl til 1am // *With love for Redhawk Native American Arts Council of NYC in solidarity with Standing Rock
12-16 Fri – Final Night 2 of 3: JAVIER EL POLLO w/ Guataca SALSA feat. Charly Schwartz on Timbales, Joshua Levine & Special Guests Live @ 8, 9, 10pm // DJ RIOBAMBA (Apocalypsis) electrópico til Late // *With love for Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls
12-17 Sat – Final Night 3 of 3: SALSONDRIA feat. Obanilu Allende, Marc Torres, & Danny Odria Live @ 9, 10, & 11pm // DJ DANITO & Special Guest! salsa & tropical til 4am // Come early for dinner as we will be standing room only after 10pm // *With love for El Puente – Peace, Justice, Wellness & Sustainability in Williamsburg’s Los Sures