Fledgling and acclaimed artists are flocking to Brooklyn to rock out in the borough’s latest music hall. Opened in mid-September 2008, The Bell House in Gowanus is the third venue on a growing list of performance spaces (Union Hall and Floyd among them) established by co-owner and talent buyer Jack McFadden.
As you turn the corner onto 7th Street towards the Bell House—what once was a warehouse used as a printing press—don’t be dismayed by a block devoid of boutiques and brownstones. You are walking through one of the few remaining manufacturing neighborhoods in Brooklyn so try to relish a piece of the old, ungentrified turf. Your first step into the 1920’s refurbished house opens wide and center to the main performance area, where bands are sure to incite the singing of lyrics high into its rafters.
The 430-person space has 25-foot wooden arched ceilings, a distinct “home on the range” motif, and latticed wall fixtures that harmonize with the remnants of industrial décor. The setting channels a vibe suitable both for raves and intimate forums. With just a few tables and bar stools in the main hall, it’s evident that The Bell House was designed for standing audiences and jump-happy crowds who will consume each decibel of sound.
In addition to a bar at the left of the stage where menus for cans, draft, and wine are scribbled in colored chalk on a big board, at the front of the house there is a 150-person lounge, which features beer from independent and local breweries.
At the Bell House, count on an incredibly rich musical lineup consisting of acoustic, alternative, folk, and indie pop.
How to Get There: Take theF train to Brooklyn. Exit 4th Avenue near 9th street. Walk North on 4th avenue towards 8th street. Turn left on 7th to the address. The Bell House is open every day with 2 for 1 happy hour from 5pm-8pm. (The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn, 718-643-6510,thebellhouseny.com)