No one told us Public Assembly closed – it’s now Black Bear Bar

Black Bear Bar (via their Instagram page)

Black Bear Bar (via their Instagram page)

Black Bear Bar
70 North 6th St. Brooklyn, NY 11211

While everyone was talking about 285 Kent closing, we didn’t hear a peep about Public Assembly shutting down. Last we heard they were closing briefly to renovate, but now their website is gone, and when we stopped by last night we discovered that the space now goes by the name Black Bear Bar. There are three vintage cycles in the entryway (there used to be a pool here when the space was Galapagos). And just like Public Assembly, Black Bear Bar has two main rooms. The front room has a fantastic u-shaped bar and a pool table. The back room has a stage and features music on most nights. Other than Instagram, the bar has no real web presence so they seem content staying under the radar. Oak NYC has a few pics and a tad more information:

If you Google Black Bear Bar, just opened on the traffic heavy North 6th St in Williamsburg, you’ll have to do a lot of digging to find any information on the spot. “That’s her style,” the friendly bartender told us last night of owner Jessica Wertz (No Name, Lone Wolf), “and this is her new baby.” Save for an Instagram account, Black Bear takes an almost non-existent approach to promoting itself in the social media heavy digital age. Much like our new favorite LES spot Sel Rrose, Black Bear’s lack of self-promo asks its clientele to find it, rather than the other way around. The bar also draws in passersby visually with a showroom-esque entry way that features three motorcycles, brightly put on display. In the back, the space is dimly lit and features a wrap-around bar, pool table, and lends itself perfectly to both an after-work drink and a late night drop in. While the staff is happy to make you just about any drink you’d like, OAK recommends Black Bear’s on-tap Old Fashioned.

Front room

Front room

Apex Fest Recap

Last Sunday at Public Assembly and Monday at The Flat the fifth installment of Annihilvs’s Apex Fest tried to annihilate Brooklyn with a tidal wave of power electronics, harsh noise, ambient and other forms of electronically fueled sonic warfare. Below is a complete video recap of every single artist

En Nihil

The [Law-Rah] Collective

More onslaughts after the break [Read more…]

Pre-Concert Eats: Navigating Williamsburg’s Restaurants on North 6th

Chrome Canyon at Cameo Gallery

With its weekend crowds and its surplus of shops and eateries, navigating North 6th street can be as confounding as it is invigorating. There’s the overcrowded tourist trap known as Sea. There’s Future Perfect where beautiful, artisan-crafted statement armchairs, are displayed in a storefront only blocks away from more affordable wares at Artists n’ Fleas. There’s an American Apparel on North 6th too: chicken or egg? And, of course, its main attraction are its live music venues all in a three block radius of each other: Music Hall of Williamsburg, Cameo Gallery and Public Assembly.

Electronic, indie, pop, international and domestic; from Lemonade to Sky Ferreira to A$AP Rocky, I feel confident in saying your favorite artist probably made at least one appearance on this bougie block. So, where to eat when you’re pressed for time, Toro y Moi is coming on in 10 minutes, and MHOW can’t even scrounge up a bar snack for you? These five dining options are the cream of the primarily Asian-influenced crop of eateries, and with a range of flavors to enjoy, from Japanese to Cuban, you’ll be able to enjoy your dish, tip your waitress and make it into Cameo while there’s still a square of space to stand.

Cubana Social

For filling and affordable without much time to spare, Cubana Social’s ‘bocaditos’ will have you sated and stuck in the winding line heading into either of its next door neighbor venues in no time.  For less than $5, vegetarians and carnivores can find an empanada to their liking and bite into crispy, flaky heaven. Heartier options to prepare for the fortitude of an open bar range can be found in Cubana Social’s sandwiches stuffed with plantains, black bean patty, or eight-hour long roasted pork between deliciously thick Cuban bread. The dim lighting and a rotation of older films showing on a projector cast a relaxing lull over the eatery. And speaking of music, they provide their own. Stop by for live jazz on Saturdays.

Cubana Social
70 North 6th

Chai Home Kitchen

Less intense than the winding maze of Zenkichi and lacking the shadowy air of intimidation at Sea Thai, Chai Home Kitchen is a cozy, traditional Thai eatery on the corner of 6th and Berry to indulge in a heaping pile of pad thai or slurp some tom yum noodles and broth.  Starters from the sweet corn fritters to the satay are reliable favorites to quell hunger and pair with a Thai iced tea. Suspended bird cages and isolated daisies floating in pools of water provide a very calming vibe; perfect to forget about how hard you’re about to be pushed into a wall by an erratic electronica enthusiast at Public Assembly.

Chai Home Kitchen
124 North 6th

[Read more…]

Captured live: Beach Day @ Public Assembly

Beach Day is another band I caught over at Public Assembly during CMJ. More girl power, yes! I’ve actually tracked down the route of all this loveliness. One of the members of Leda messaged me and said “The show featured so many bands with rad women in them because it was co-presented by Permanent Wave, a feminist arts group that puts on female-fronted shows in NYC (and a few other cities as well).” Well someone is going to have to track this group down and tell them how much they love what they’re doing. And by someone I mean me of course. Have a look at the trio doing their thing. Enjoy!

PS: I love shoes too!(well sneakers) “Oh my gaaaaaah” we have so much in common!


Captured live: Leda @ Public Assembly

During my CMJ run I caught Leda’s set over at Public Assembly. They’re a very lovely bunch. One thing I noticed about Greenpointers entire showcase was the fact that every band had pretty rad girls/women in them. I go to about 4 shows a week and I believe this is the first time this has happened. Correct me if I’m wrong. The Suzan, Leda, Backwords, and Beach Day all had woman rocking my world. I love you 20 hundreds! OK enough babbling, get in tuned while Leda melts your heart. Enjoy!

PS: I thought that bassist was all sorts of radical so I waved to her on stage and she waved back. Eat your hearts out lads!


Captured live: Backwords interview/live @ Public Assembly

Late night during music festivals everyone starts getting a little sauced/intoxicated. This is where the fun begins. When you add music to the mix and a bunch of pretty hipsters you got yourself a great recipe for a classic Brooklyn night! In this clip I interview Tim Pioppo of Backwords at Public Assembly. Then go into some live footage from their set. Catch them tonight at Legions. Enjoy!


Captured live: The Suzan live @ Public Assembly(Extended)

I don’t even know where to start with these ladies. The Suzan are so good that I couldn’t possibly cut after the first song. The transition was perfection so I just kept it moving. Saori, Rie, Ikue, NICO and Fool Gold I love you all. Please continue to kick tons of ass. Enjoy! Let me know what you think.


CMJ Must See: The Suzan

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, The Fools Gold team are fucking geniuses. Do yourselves a favor and head over to Public Assembly and catch The Suzan. I shot them over a year ago. If they managed to get better from the perfection I saw the last time you people are in for a treat!


11:15 – Heliotropes
10:30 – Leda
9:45 – Beach Day
9:00 – Backwords
8:15 – The Suzan
7:30 – Easy Lover

Tuesday, October 16th

Sponsored by Narragansett – Free beer from 7-8pm

Public Assembly
70 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 384-4586