- The Bell House
149 7th St., nr. Third Ave., Gowanus; 718-643-6510
The guys behind Brooklyn bocce-and-beer joints Union Hall and Floyd really tested the “if you build it, they will come” maxim on this one. Located in a formerly deserted strip of warehouses in Gowanus, the Bell House’s performance space rivals the Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg in both size and ambition. But it’s the eclectic lineup that garners the clubhouse cred. Besides some above-average indie shows (this month’s headliners include the Bird and the Bee, Camera Obscura, and A. C. Newman), the barnlike hall hosts readings, game-show nights, comedy reviews, Sunday-afternoon kids’ events, and D.J. parties. A front lounge hosts smaller events and offers a cozy, couchy place to grab a pre-show drink, complete with two-for-one happy hour every day from 5 to 7 p.m.
Best Adult Clubhouse
From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).