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Secret Project Robot Is Closing But ‘Not Giving Up,’ Co-Founder Says

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

The secret is out: beloved Bushwick art/party space Secret Project Robot, which has featured tons of art and hosted dozens of good shows and parties, will be closing its doors at the end of the summer. Although the news was posted just a week and a half ago, co-director Rachel Nelson doesn’t seem too broken up about it.

“The thing is we just can’t afford to stay there,” Nelson said. “That’s it.”

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Just Keeping You Abreast of This ‘Titty Pub Crawl’ in Bushwick

The Boobs of Bushwick began their titty pub crawl at Birdy's at around 11 p.m. (Photo: Nate "Igor" Smith)

The Boobs of Bushwick began their titty pub crawl at Birdy’s at around 11 p.m. (Photo: Nate “Igor” Smith)

Boobie Trap still holds the record for most synthetic breasts in a bar, but last night Birdy’s and Happyfun Hideaway hosted the real deal. Boobs of Bushwick, the group known for going topless around the neighborhood and uploading shots to Tumblr, bounced into Birdy’s for some foosball at around 11 p.m., followed by Jenga at Happyfun Hideaway.

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Secret Project Robot Team Opens A Bar-Cafe-Gallery With ‘Zine Vending Machines’

(Photos: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

(Photos: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Erik Zajaceskowski and Rachel Nelson, the husband and wife behind art/music space Secret Project Robot and hoppin’ Bushwick bar Happyfun Hideaway, are putting the finishing touches on their latest project, a tavern, cafe, and gallery on Dekalb Avenue, in that blurry area between Bushwick and Bed-Stuy. With the grand opening of Flowers For All Occasions set for Thursday evening, the smell of fresh wood still lingers in the air and there’s a bare back room of sorts where a “zine vending machine and cabinet of curiosities” will eventually stand.

As I’m checking things out, Erik comes in, gleefully brandishing a small sparkly object.

“Look!” he says with a grin. “Pink pepper spray!”

“These are the things you get excited about after five months of construction,” Rachel says.

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Talking East Village-Bushwick With the Bi-Borough Producers of Slideluck

slideluck

The concept is kind of irresistible: a free dinner followed by a slideshow of local artwork. The Slideluck Potshow [the former Slideluck Potshow has rebranded as just Slideluck] began in photographer Casey Kelbaugh’s backyard in Seattle in 2000, expanded to Amsterdam, Nairobi, Bogota and beyond, and it’s coming to Bushwick this Thursday. This year, it’ll feature the work of 25 Bushwick and East Williamsburg-based artists (their names are below), one of which will be selected for a solo show at the Living Gallery in October. Bring a homemade potluck dish and you’ll get two raffle tickets for goodies from local businesses.
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Bushwick Is Burning: Underground Trap Raves Keep It Weird

Dancer, Dai Burger, Junglepussy, Kay Rizz, Contessa Stuto

Dancer, Dai Burger, Junglepussy, Kay Rizz, Contessa Stuto

Passion Lounge (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Passion Lounge (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Dai Burger (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Dai Burger (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Passion Lounge (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Passion Lounge (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

 Contessa Stuto (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Contessa Stuto (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Passion Lounge (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Passion Lounge (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Dai Burger performing (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Dai Burger performing (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Passion Lounge (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Passion Lounge (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Dancer (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Dancer (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Juliana Huxtable of House of Ladosha (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Juliana Huxtable of House of Ladosha (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Bailey Styles (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Bailey Styles (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Joey LaBeija (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Joey LaBeija (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Junglepussy (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Junglepussy (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Richard Kennedy (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Richard Kennedy (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

 Dosha Devastation of House of Ladosha (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Dosha Devastation of House of Ladosha (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

WC Kids TeeBurr and Matt Sebastian (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

WC Kids TeeBurr and Matt Sebastian (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Santana WIlliams (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

Santana WIlliams (Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev)

TeeBurr texts, Matt Sebastian and Kay Rizz share fishbowl

TeeBurr texts, Matt Sebastian and Kay Rizz share fishbowl

It’s 3 a.m. at Passion Lounge, the heavily mirrored club on Broadway previously known as Angels, and the roving underground party known as Ultra Velvet is in full swing. Brooklyn rapper Dai Burger coos a line from her new single into the mic: “Soufflé, I could come on these bitches all day.” She’s iced in iridescent blue from head to transparent heel. Her audience is similarly attired in ensembles ranging from the futuristic to the obscene. As lasers spin, they share fish bowls, sipping an orgy of liquor from long straws. Passion’s towering security guards look on, confused.
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Secret Project Robot Opens a Happyfun Hideaway

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Happyfun Hideaway (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

The secret seems to be out about Secret Project Robot’s new sister establishment. “Yesterday, I made a batch of vegan pulled pork and it sold out in about three hours,” Rachel Nelson told Bedford + Bowery.

Happyfun Hideaway’s early success after just a few weeks in business seems to have come from a combination of word-of-mouth and a straight-up irresistible atmosphere (just look at our slideshow). The bar offers mixed drinks and reasonably priced beers, plus what the owners describe as a “slightly healthier version of Americana bar food” (so far, offerings have included jackfruit with barbecue sauce, mac and cheese, Frito pie and cheeseburgers).
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