Brooklyn Bowl is located at 61 Wythe Avenue, between North 11th & 12th Streets, just two blocks off of the East River. It lies in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area of Brooklyn, two blocks northwest of the former Sound Fix Records, three blocks east of Williamsburg Waterfront, just west of McCarren Park, and five-and-a-half blocks north of such North 6th venues as Music Hall in Williamsburg, Public Assembly, and Cameo. It is a very recent venue, having only opened on July 7th, 2009. Nicky Digital and JellyNYC held post-Pool Party parties there over summer ’09 (following the JellyNYC-run Pool Parties at Williamsburg Waterfront), and it served as an emergency rainout venue for the Pool Parties & Seaport Music shows at South Street Seaport. After initially trying to book events on its own, concerts are now booked by Bowery Presents (which also does booking for such venues as Webster Hall).
A converted factory, the entrance to Brooklyn Bowl is a pair of metal shack doors that open onto a small outdoor foyer, before the main entrance. However, indoors, Brooklyn Bowl is far classier, with well-buffed wood paneling. The main entrance leads into a wide indoor foyer, which includes a small, separate restaurant, stairs up to very nice bathrooms, and a desk where gets a lane/rents bowling shoes, because it is an actual bowling alley, as well as a concert venue. To the left of the main entrance, following a short hallway, is the bar to the left, and the stage floor to the right. The actual stage is at the far end of that, with the actual bowling lanes to the house-right (note: can only enter that raised area if bowling).
Brooklyn Bowl seems to be trying to be all things to all people, and not just in the obvious fact that it’s a concert venue/bowling alley (Union Hall has bocce ball…). The restaurant is incongruous and misplaced. The venue wants to tap into the Williamsburg concert-going crowds, but is cleaner & fancier than your Williamsburg venue. The stage being perpendicular to the bowling lanes does mean bowlers can watch concerts (though not anyone in the restaurant, though they can certainly hear them), but leaves the stage floor long and narrow, and the stage isn’t quite raised high enough to be visible from the back. The bar is very nice, though its drink selection again feels like it’s aiming higher than the area concert-going crowd. There is still time to work things out, and being booked by Bowery Presents certainly helps, but only time will tell whether or not Brooklyn Bowl is going to last.
61 Wythe Avenue (between North 11th & North 12th Streets)
L train to Bedford Ave. – walk 4 blocks west on North 7th Street, 4 & 1/2 blocks north on east side of Wythe Avenue
G train to Nassau Ave. – walk 5 blocks west on Nassau, 1 block west on North 14th Street, 2 & 1/2 blocks south on east side of Wythe Avenue
-Hank & Cupcakes, April 3rd, 2013 – photos
-Strange Design & The Big Apple Horns, December 16th, 2011 – photos
-Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with Royal Baths, Heavy Trash, Reverend Vince Anderson, and Stabbing Eastward, December 16th, 2011 (Jonathan Toubin Benefit) – Yeah Yeah Yeahs photos, Royal Baths photos, Heavy Trash photos, Reverend Vince Anderson photos, Stabbing Eastward photos
-The Stockholm Syndrome, August 13th, 2011 – photos
-Hooray For Earth, July 16th, 2011 – photos
-Bear Hands, February 27th, 2011 – photos
-Bear Hands, October 20th, 2010 (CMJ) – photos
-U.S. Air Guitar, Brooklyn Regionals, April 9th, 2010 – photos
-Your Nature, March 1st, 2010 – photos
-No Age/Deerhunter/Dan Deacon ‘Round Robin’, with Ed Schrader, White Rainbow & Infinite Body, August 2nd, 2009 (relocated Pool Party) – Round Robin live review, Round Robin photos, Ed Schrader photos, White Rainbow & Infinite Body photos
Man Man, Brooklyn, NY, 6/5/12
Man Man – “Oh, La Brea”, Brooklyn, NY, 6/5/12
Man Man – “Push the Eagle’s Stomach”, Brooklyn, NY, 6/5/12
Man Man – “Engrish Bwudd”, Brooklyn, NY, 6/5/12
Cracker – “I Want Everything”, Brooklyn, NY, 7/24/11
Cracker – “Sweet Potato”, Brooklyn, NY, 7/24/11
Bear Hands improv, Brooklyn, NY, 2/27/11
ArpLine – “Paris Unknown”, Brooklyn, NY, 2/17/10