On the Move

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Experiment Comedy Gallery Loses (Some of) the Hasslers, Moves to Ex-Punk Venue

The Experiment Comedy gallery has moved to Grand Street (Photo: Nicole Disser)

The Experiment Comedy gallery has moved to 272 Grand Street (Photo: Nicole Disser)

When The Experiment Comedy Gallery opened last fall, just steps from a fast-changing corner on the Williamsburg waterfront where Broadway meets Kent Avenue, it was a little surprising to hear that a DIY comedy club catering to up-and-coming standups and underrepresented comics was setting up shop in an area that, strangely, seems to be shriveling up as it hurdles toward major development. “Vice isn’t here yet,” joked The Ex’s founder, Mo Fathelbab, when we first met last October. That might have been true, but the luxury developments were definitely there already– and funny thing was, the venue was actually located on the ground floor of one such condo building, Broadway Riverview, which had been around since the start of the Williamsburg condo boom.

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Bedford Ave’s Verb Cafe Now in G’point, Serving Hot Coffee Sans ‘Cold Interactions’

Verb Cafe is back, this time on Nassau Avenue (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Verb Cafe is back, this time on Nassau Avenue (Photo: Nicole Disser)

It was one of the last vestiges of a bygone Williamsburg– a grungy, cavernous little coffee shop with worn-down wood floors and a lifetime of coffee grounds seemingly plastered onto every surface. Verb Cafe, which opened in 1999, was nothing fancy– no one went there to get a pour-over or fawn over bespoke beans with tasting notes. But when the place closed in June 2014, there was more than a bit of sadness (which was compounded when life imitated every joke ever told about Brooklyn hipsters and the coffee shop was replaced by an artisanal soap boutique with handmade, organic cupcake soap).

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A DIY Space Where ‘People of Color Have Empowerment’ Gets Ready For Next Act

Winston Scarlett: curator of Slackgaze and founder of Nola Darling (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Winston Scarlett: curator of Slackgaze and founder of Nola Darling (Photo: Nicole Disser)

For the city’s DIY scene, the year 2014 was anything but static– openings, closings, you know the drill. And while one little venue might seem like it’s simply joining the list of short-lived venues and tragic casualties, in all probability, Nola Darling is just getting started.

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Commune Salon & Gifts Is the Latest to Relocate in Williamsburg

IMG_0523The Williamsburg retail scene is starting to feel a lot like a game of musical chairs — salon chairs, in the case of the latest switcheroo. Commune Salon & Gift, which opened on Grand Street back in 2004, is leaving its home of over a decade and moving a couple blocks over. It closed earlier this week and will reopen at 185 Roebling Street on Saturday.
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Getting High at the New Home of The Muse, Bushwick’s Future ‘Circus Heaven’

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

In the farthest reaches of Bushwick, right on the border of Knollwood Cemetery, Moffat Street drops off into oblivion. The sidewalks are cracked and few working street lights are there to illuminate the barren warehouses. Last night, long after the sun had set, I was walking down this end of Moffat in search of The Muse‘s new space.
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Microscope Focuses in on a New Gallery Space in Bushwick

Microscope

Marni Kotak’s “Mad Meds” Exhibit; Photo Courtesy of Microscope Gallery

It wasn’t easy for Elle Burchill and Andrea Monti to find a space in Bushwick to house their expanding gallery, Microscope. The two started looking in October 2013, and finally signed a lease just under a month ago. “We saw at least 30 spaces,” Burchill says. “We lost several just as we were supposed to go sign a lease, and then the landlord had someone slip in and offer more for rent. That was fun.”
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Three Bookselling Institutions Get Ready For Their Next Chapters

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

There’s real estate news from three of the city’s book-selling institutions.

The rumors about Shakespeare & Co.’s possible closure are getting harder to ignore. The space that houses the decades-old bookstore, at 716 Broadway, is available for lease, said Brendan Gotch, director of retail leasing for Massey Knakal, who is handling the listing.
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San Loco Is Closing Its Williamsburg Outpost, Plans to Relocate

637 Driggs last year, when it was vacant.

637 Driggs last year, when it was vacant.

Just weeks after San Loco closed its Avenue A store of 15 years, there’s been another shakeup in the empire: the Williamsburg store will close April 20, according to a manager who, citing a conversation with his boss, told us, “I think we lost our lease.”
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Will Max Fish Open a Few Blocks From Its Old Location?

(Photo: Daniel Savage)

(Photo: Daniel Savage)

Here’s more evidence that Max Fish, after initially planning to move to Williamsburg, might end up sticking with the Lower East Side: on the calendar of meetings that Community Board 3 just sent out, a company belonging to the Fish’s owner, Ulli Rimkus, is slated to appear at the April 7 meeting of the board’s liquor license committee.
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