What happens when you turn a classic biker clubhouse into a venue where hipsters mingle with Bushwick natives? Locust. Recently, this hush-hush locale off the JMZ has seen some of the area’s best performers, DJs, promoters and parties pass through each Thursday. The stripper stage is always leather-clad and stacked. Artists, rappers and club kids dance under the whir of bubble machines. Dice scatter across the bar while skate videos play on the monitors. Last week, an ex-convict turned magician taught me a quarter trick and a woman named Fish offered intoxicated but valuable life counsel. All nights beside Thursdays, however, Locust transforms back into a clubhouse (strictly) for Puerto Rican bikers and co.
In this rapidly gentrifying pocket of Bushwick, it’s rare to see these worlds collide. Hipsters reign at Sky Bar, Bizarre Bar, Lone Wolf and the like, while the original neighborhood tends to congregate among a population of tinted window/green laser haunts that look fun but uninviting. With its amalgamation of young, old, gay, straight, ravers, punks, strippers, and everything between, Locust bridges Bushwick’s gap with ease. The biker presence allows the integration of neighborhood roots with the downtown/Bushwick party circuit in a manner honoring the infamously lawless bars of Brooklyn’s past.
“People from all walks of life come out in pursuit of a good time,” says resident DJ MopTop. “There is a general theme of respect and equality. No harassment is tolerated.”
Bottom line: people do what they want. Parties end when they end (last week my night ended with a biker-gifted reflective neon vest I’d been admiring, glistening as I walked home in the piercing 8 a.m. sunlight).
Tonight, Locust will house The Power, a fabulous rotating party featuring DJ sets/performances by members of House of Ladosha, Ninjasonik, and others. We won’t publish the address; your biggest clue is in the name, and if all else fails… think like Gatsby and look for the green light.