Beauty Bar Brooklyn Grand Opening: Jon Spencer Pounces on a Car, Cops Have Better Things to Do in Bushwick Than Care
Nate "Igor" Smith
Beauty Bar Brooklyn
Thursday, May 28
The Beauty Bar Brooklyn, opening to the public this weekend, is a soccer-goalie's kick away from the Myrtle J/M/Z stop, about a block from everybody's favorite loft-show space Market Hotel. The place's awning still currently reads UNDER THE J, the name of the bar's former occupant, but the expertly vintage interior seems detached from it and everything else outside, including the sketchily sleepless Popeye's Chicken diagonally across the way, and the batshit nuts creep who yelled "White girl!" at me on my way to train. Inside, there're the requisite dryer chairs, a manicure table, and cream-colored walls painted in sparkly rainbows, like Fruit Stripe gum. It is, like all the Beauty Bars, some carefully chosen Grease-type shit.
New York's other Beauty Bar, a narrower joint on 14th Street, has ended up being an after-party spot for Bowery Ballroom headliners (i.e. Los Campesinos! and the Shins). You could see this new spot serving the same purpose for Studio B, if it wasn't a $15 ride away from Greenpoint. For last night's grand opening, Andy Rourke, the former bass player for the Smiths, was there, as was New York Night Train dude Jonathan Toubin, and erotic photographer Ellen Stagg. Oh--and some guy with Pac Man cap who's following both P. Diddy and DJ Lauren Flax on Twitter. Beauty Bar co-owner Paul Devitt seemed aware that his clientele probably doesn't hang out much at the Market Hotel. "How many of you have been to Bushwick before?" he asked, rather rhetorically, before introducing a drummer-less version of Jon Spencer's rockabilly band Heavy Trash. "How many of you are coming back?"
Beauty Bar co-owners Paul Devitt and Michael Stewart
So it was a kind of fitting meeting of the two worlds when Jon Spencer ended up out front, perched on the hood of a finned Cadillac plucking his acoustic Gibson, yell-singing about something. It was tough to tell what exactly--he was unmiked--and it was heavily drizzling. He'd been serenading a barful of chattering revelers from the "stage"--essentially, the DJ booth--until jumping onto the floor and trying to rile those vodka-preoccupied chatterers before him. The Beauty Bar owner took me aside before we went on and said, Jon Spencer! Whatever you do. We're new in the neighborhood. DOOOONNNN'TTT take everybody out in the street. To stomp and scream! To which, Jon Spencer immediately led everyone out to the street to stomp and scream. Perfectly in synch, a cop car immediately rolled by, slowed, and stared. And then kept going. At least the vehicle wasn't burning, right?
140 characters or less: RT @drivenbyboredom Place looks nice. Plus you get a little flavor of old New York... you might get robbed on your way home!
Nate "Igor" Smith Jon Spencer, with special guests Andy Rourke (far left)