Bell House is located on 149 7th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, in Brooklyn’s Park Slope, near the Gowanus Canal. It lays eleven blocks southwest from Union Hall and Littlefield, and a few blocks more from the old Southpaw. It is operated by the same management of Union Hall, and opened on September 18th, 2008, with a free show by The Lilys, Matt Pond PA, Robbers On High Street, and Takka Takka.
A converted warehouse, Bell House starts with a large, sparse entryway that opens to the back house-right of the stage floor. The stage itself juts out into the stage floor in a curve, with a curtain behind it. There are two raised areas with tables and chairs, at the back and house-left, with the bar located on the house-left wall. The bathrooms are at the back house-left. There is also a front lounge area, with its own bar. The stage floor is beneath wooden, warehouse/log cabin-like beams, but also chandeliers, while the lounge area is classier.
Bell House is kind of the Bowery Ballroom to Union Hall’s Mercury Lounge, Park Slope versions – nearby, same management, but larger, and able to accommodate larger acts (less than a week after opening, Low’s sold-out Union Hall show was moved to Bell House). The ticket price is higher, though not exorbitantly so, and there is a large range of drinks (though curiously no PBR – but three dollar Gennessee cans fill that slot). Bell House is also easier to get to, being closer to local and express subway stops (though the Smith St. F & G stop is notoriously creepy, as one has to walk under the elevated rail, across the Gowanus Canal, and past numerous boarded-up buildings and some sort of depot for chartered buses). In some ways, it’s more reminiscent of nearby Southpaw (especially the stage that juts into the crowd – but Bell House’s does so from the long side, making the stage floor wide, rather than long and skinny), though far cleaner and classier. It might not be enough to make Park Slope ‘the next Williamsburg’ all on its own, but the area is going in the right direction. With the high turnover of Brooklyn venues, and the loss of McCarren Park Pool and Luna Lounge (which itself had moved from the Lower East Side), it’s very nice to see growth.
Capacity: 350 (stage floor), 150 (front lounge)
149 7th Street, between 2nd & 3rd Avenue
D, F, G, N & R trains to 9th Street/4th Avenue – walk two blocks north, one-and-a-half blocks west on North side of 7th Street
F & G to Smith Street/9th Street – walk one block east on 9th Street, two blocks north on 2nd Avenue, turn right on north side of 7th Street
-The Make-Up, May 20th, 2017 – photos
-Eugene Mirman & Friends, October 30th, 2015 – photos
-The Breeders (playing Last Splash), March 29th, 2013 – live review
-The English Beat, January 31st, 2013 – photos
-Chilly Gonzales, April 20th, 2012 – photos
-Slow Club, February 16th, 2012 – photos
-The Felice Brothers, May 18th, 2011 – photos
-Freelance Whales, June 19th, 2010 (Rachael Ray’s Feedback) (outdoors) – photos
-Bling Kong, with Motel Motel, Arms, Noel Heroux & Paul Holmes, Holas and Ivana XL, October 3rd, 2009 (‘What’s Good For You is Good For Me’ 1st anniversary) – Bling Kong photos, Motel Motel photos, Arms photos, Noel Heroux & Paul Holmes photos, Holas photos, Ivana XL photos
-Grant Hart, June 1st, 2009 – photos