Rock and roll is here to stay, but just maybe not in Park Slope. The Rock Shop, a two-level live music venue and sports bar on Fourth Avenue that opened in 2010, will no longer host live music, performers and a representative from the bar confirmed last night. Instead, it will pivot to becoming a bar with a game room. Last night’s performance by Weezer cover band the Undone Sweaters and comedy country group The Reformed Whores was the farewell show for the venue.
“The Rock Shop is NOT closing, we just will not be having anymore live music,” a representative from the bar, who did not identify themselves, emailed Brokelyn last night. “The first floor will be converted into a bar with pool tables, pinball machines, and foosball table.”
The bar upstairs — which has a restaurant, roof deck and ample TVs — will remain open while the first floor is renovated, with a goal of reopening in September, the rep said.
The change marked the closing of yet another concert space in increasingly live-music starved Park Slope.
“It makes me sad because this was a place I used to go to and frequent a bunch and see cool bands,” Danny Tamberelli, a member of the Undone Sweaters (who you also know as Little Pete from Pete & Pete) told Brokelyn after the show last night. “It’s the only small room in this neighborhood of Brooklyn where it sounds good and it’s big enough to have a rock show, and they take all kinds. It’s not too snooty or particular. It’s a damn shame.”
The bar rep did not specify why it was ending its live music, only that it was moving towards being more of a bar with games instead of a live music venue. The Rock Shop has hosted hundreds of live music acts over the years, including tons of local bands and lots of national headliners like the Love Language, Jukebox the Ghost and Policia. The venue, located at Carroll Street and Fourth Ave., where it shares a wall with Mission Dolores, was an intimate space, allowing fans to get up close and personal with bands without feeling too cramped.
Live music venues are becoming increasingly sparse in family friendly Park Slope: Venerable Slope institution Southpaw, closed in 2012 after 10 years, leading to an unusually hyperbolic declaration from the New Yorker: Park Slope is Dead. Down the street from the Rock Shop, the Brooklyn Lyceum — a charmingly grubby art space that would felt more at home in Bushwick than modern Park Slope — closed a few years ago and is now being turned into — guess what? — condos.
Union Hall still hosts concerts in its basement venue, and nearby Lucky 13 Saloon is home to live music, though mostly of the metal variety. The back room at Freddy’s in South Slope is still going strong.
Last night was filled with emotion for performers saying goodbye to the space.
“It was great to be the ones to close it out,” Tamberelli said.
It was unclear as of press time if the Rock Shop would remove the “Rock” from its name.
Additional reporting by Aaron Benoit.