From the owners of Eastern Bloc, Bedlam and Atlas Social Club comes LOVEGUN, a brand new gay bar slated to open on Grand Street next week, September 12. With two main floors, a sunken lounge area and two full service bars, LOVEGUN is clearly set to carve its place out in the Brooklyn queer scene.
LOVEGUN will open with a bang, with NYC promoter Frankie Sharp kicking off his new party “GIRLS” on the first night of business.
Maisani says LOVEGUN is “Studio 54 meets Cruising”
At Eastern Bloc, Maisani and Dryden noticed that many of their customers were making the trek across the East River to party, so they decided it was time to bring the party to Billyburg. “We thought we could do something cool out here,” Dryden says.
“Even though Brooklyn has exploded in the last few years, there’s not as much being offered for the community here, as opposed to somewhere like Hell’s Kitchen, where you have 19 bars in a very small radius,” says Raimondi on a hot late-summer afternoon over the sounds of construction going on inside the bar. “That was definitely one of the things motivating us to make the move.”
Last October, Maisani found the perfect spot on Grand Street in the heart of Williamsburg, and Lovegun was born. The space is gigantic, even for Brooklyn, with a long main dance floor lined with couches and a wide bar with red neon signs overhead proclaiming “More more more.” Upstairs is a cozy VIP area and DJ booth. The entire bar is painted black, the only other colors coming from the signs behind the bar and the large white neon sign spelling out the bar’s name. You won’t find any of the taxidermy that characterizes Maisani’s other bars. The décor at Lovegun is simple and sexy: the perfect dark space for a night of uninhibited fun.
“The appeal of this specific space is that it’s big enough to be a crazy dance party, but it’s also a flexible enough space that it can be more like a traditional bar,” Maisani says. “There’s a lot more options. And in terms of the décor, the general vibe of the space, we took our visual cues from late-70s/early-80s New York nightclubs: late disco and early-80s vibe, Studio 54 meets Cruising.”
“But simple,” Dryden adds with a laugh.
One aspect of Lovegun that won’t be simple is their programming. “The appeal for us in doing something in Brooklyn is that we can, musically, be a little more creative, or offer something a little less mainstream,” explains Maisani.
Already, the venue has an impressive roster of talent lined up. Downtown stalwart Michael Formika Jones is booked for a disco-themed party on Sunday nights, while Saturdays will feature DJs like Sparber and Sammy Jo. “We’re just going to have a rotating cast to keep it fresh,” Dryden says.
The biggest party that Lovegun has lined up is Frankie Sharp’s new Brooklyn venture, Girls, the launch of which doubles as the bar’s grand opening. Sharp has a history with the men of Lovegun: his first New York party, Everything, took place at Bedlam. “These boys just want to have a good time and make people happy and drunk,” says the Westgay mastermind. “When they said they were going to open a bar in Williamsburg, there was no way I wasn’t going to be a part of it. The second I saw the space and felt what I felt, I knew it was my new home. You can feel the excitement before the room is even full. Lovegun feels rough and chic, like you want to lay on the floor and carry on the bar.
Of course, the name makes us want to listen to Kiss. LOVEGUN opens tonight at 617 Grand Street.