A place of her own: Comedian opens Park Slope bar and performance venue

A place of her own: Comedian opens Park Slope bar and performance venue
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

She’s taking — and making — the stage!

A Brooklyn comedian will launch her own bar and performance venue in Park Slope tonight, where the drinks and the shows can be just the way she wants them. Park Sloper Jennifer Salzman said she was inspired to create Salzy after years of hosting comedy shows and watching other people reap the rewards.

“I realized — I’m doing this for the love of comedy, and the venues are making a lot of money. I should have my own venue!” she said.

So when neighborhood bar the Fifth Estate went up for sale, Salzman seized the opportunity to buy the business, and then shuttered the dive bar and turned its dimly-lit back room into a performance showcase with an expanded stage, a shiny silver couch, and a “top-notch” sound system created by sound engineer Jonathan Vegara.

Salzman said the space will be a more upscale alternative for those going out in Park Slope — just the kind of place she’s been looking for.

“I built the place so I’d have a place where I wanted to hang out at,” said Salzman. “I’m a middle-aged single lady who loves to drink cocktails and listen to live music, so hopefully there are a lot of other people like me out there.”

She and Vegara are casting a wide net to find musicians, comedians, and burlesque performers for Salzy, which can hold up to 75 people.

“We’re open to any kind of performance — it’s not just a jazz club, it’s not just a comedy club. If someone wants to do a Broadway revue, we could probably do that,” said Salzman.

The high quality of the sound and of the performers will make the space a borough-wide draw, said Salzman.

“It’s going to be a destination,” she said. “It’s going to be known as a place to see live music. I’m not going to have your brother’s cousin’s band playing.”

And Salzman, with her long experience as a performer and event planner, counts on emceeing comedy shows at Salzy, and occasionally taking the stage.

“Yeah, that’s the main reason I wanted to do it — unlimited stage time for the rest of my life!” she joked.

Salzy’s front bar, separated from the back room by a soundproof curtain, will have its own appeal, she said.

“If you come in for a drink, you might not even know there’s a show going on,” said Salzman.

Salzman partnered with mixologist Luke Forbes to create a seasonal menu of classic and original cocktails, including the old-school Aviation and the brand-new “Ballzy Salzy.” The fancy drinks, which average $12, make the bar stand out from the more divey spots that line Fifth Avenue, said Salzman.

“We’re taking it up a notch,” she said. “We’ll have craft cocktails — we’re not selling $2 PBR.”

The opening night will feature R&B performer Julie Schatz and a stand-up set from local comedians, with Salzman as the host.

Visit Salzy [506 Fifth Ave. between 12th and 13th streets in Park Slope, (718) 788–1635, www.salzybar.com]. Grand opening Nov. 30 at 5 pm. Open Mon–Fri, 5 pm–2 am; Sat–Sun, noon–2 am.

Correction: Story updated to correctly explain the transition between the Fifth Estate and Salzy.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broun[email protected]glocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.