A new multi-purpose bar and venue, Public Records, will open at 233 Butler Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn in March.
The team is made up of longtime New York DJ and producer Francis Harris, cofounder of the label Scissor & Thread, alongside partners Shane Davis and Erik VanderWal. It will include a room for DJs and live acts, which they’re calling the “sound room,” as well as a hi-fi listening bar and a vegan cafe that will be open day and night. Opening dates and details of individual gigs will be announced soon.
“The sound room is really only one aspect of Public Records,” the team tells Resident Advisor. “Our intention has always been to create a community-driven space that’s active throughout the day and into the later hours.” All three partners come from a food and beverage background, so the idea was to “build a hospitality space centered around music more so than a music venue.”
Both rooms are equipped with custom soundsystems designed by Devon Turnbull of OJAS and Jason Ojeda, formerly of VOID. “We took a pretty unique approach,” they continue, “combining hi-fi speakers typically used in listening rooms with subs that could power a large club.” Each room will also feature custom-built rotary mixers by Isonoe. The lighting design is overseen by Brooklyn-based crew Nitemind, a favorite in the New York house and techno underground.
Thus far their DJ bookings include Octo Octa, Valentino Mora, Maayan Nidam, CCL, Thomas Bullock, Lawrence and Carsten Jost (as part of a Dial residency), Optimo, Call Super, Patrice Scott and Ge-ology. On club nights they’ll have policies in place to ensure “a warm, inclusive environment, while remaining aware of how certain attitudes can throw off the energy of the room,” the team says. “We feel a responsibility to our staff and our guests to create a safe environment.”
In addition to events in the sound room, the bar will have nightly sets from rare record collectors and weekly performances from experimental jazz bands. For live ambient and experimental acts, they’ve got Damo Suzuki (of CAN), Oren Ambarchi, Dave Grubbs, Rafael Anton Irissari, Laraaji, Hieroglyphic Being and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe. Their jazz bookings include Brandon Ross, Chris Pitsiokis and Chris Corsano, among others.
Located in the industrial neighborhood of Gowanus, Public Records will take over a building that once belonged to the American Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals. “Our building’s history as a public institution was a key inspiration for the project,” the partners said. “We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Public Records is still under construction, but we’ll follow up with more photos of the space as it nears opening night.
Max Pearl Wed / 13 Feb 2019 / 6:00 PM