What do a bunch of band dudes from the Midwest, who now live in Greenpoint, do when not making music together? Easy: they open a bar. Bobby Drake (The Hold Steady, w/o.), Frank Bevan (w/o.), Rob Pope (Spoon), Eric Odness (The Wanted, Primitive Weapons) named Lake Street after a major thoroughfare in Minneapolis, and they want it to be reminiscent of the bars they used to hang out at back home – “kind of old-man divey but cool bars, you know, where they could be sketchy, but not really,” Drake told Bedford + Bowery during a chat at the nearly finished space at 706 Manhattan Avenue, near Norman.
The bar – also owned by Stevie Howlett of East Village spots the Scratcher and Heathers – won’t have live shows, but music permeates it: there are overhead lights made from drums and one of the bathrooms is covered in legendary roadie Hiro Tanaka’s crude diaries of learning to speak English while on tour. (Vintage seventies black light posters will line the other bathroom.)
“We kind of just tried to build the bar we want to hang out in,” said Bevan.
To that end, there will be Midwestern beers (natch), hot dogs, brats, and five TVs. “It’s definitely not a sports bar,” said Bevan, “but we will curate [games] a little bit so that it represents where we’re from.”
The room contains design touches like church pews for seating and a bar top made from an old bowling lane, but Bevan knows he and his partners aren’t reinventing the wheel. “We’re musicians and we’re from the Midwest,” he said. “Are we that different [from other bars]? Slightly because of that, but not wholly. People have done all this shit before.”
Expect, maybe, for the wall sconces made from oxygen tanks that the guys sliced themselves. “That’s never been done before!” Drake laughed.