The Brooklyn Bazaar will leave its home of three years at the end of November, it announced today. “This is literally like fucking Groundhog Day for us,” said owners Belvy Klein and Aaron Broudo, who in 2015 were forced to move the Bazaar from its original Banker Street warehouse after a rent hike.
The announcement comes six months after the Bazaar’s latest home, a former Polish banquet hall on Greenpoint Avenue, hit the market at $11.75 million, with a broker telling Commercial Observer that the space could be delivered vacant. “We have tried endlessly to negotiate a new lease extension and term,” Klein and Broudo wrote in a statement, “but the landlord has been ridiculously unreasonable, with their final offer only being a month to month extension– which makes programming (from tours to weddings) and operation essentially impossible.”
The Bazaar crew’s conversion of the former Polonaise Terrace was an impressive one, as they installed a ping-pong room, a mini golf course, arcade games, karaoke rooms, a sit-down restaurant, and a concert venue in the former wedding venue. But Belvy and Broudo made the mistake of once again signing a short-term lease, they said. “We were naive enough to actually (foolishly) think that this time would be different, this time the landlords would be reasonable, this time they’d work with us…but nope, surprise!”
The closure means yet another lost venue for Williamsburg-Greenpoint. A Place to Bury Strangers– who had been the in-house band at one of the other bygone show spaces, Death By Audio– headlined an early Halloween show at the Bazaar, when it opened in late 2016. Other notable acts to play there included Black Flag, GBH, Agnostic Front, Lydia Lunch, The Adolescents, Eyehategod, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, along with countless up-and-coming local acts. Highlights among the upcoming shows, which are heavy on the sort of dark/heavy metal, punk, and experimental music you’d find over at St. Vitus, include an Oct. 24 appearance by Flipper, with Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow on vocals, and an Oct. 30 show, put on by LPR, featuring noise musicians Wolf Eyes and Pharmakon. The last event currently on the books is one of soul DJ Jonathan Toubin’s NY Night Train dance-offs.
“Will Brooklyn Bazaar return with another large scale space in Brooklyn? Probably,” the owners say. In the meantime, they assure us that their Rockaway outpost– the Riis Park Beach Bazaar, where The Dropout is once again holding court during the off-season– will remain in operation “for years to come.”