Crown Heights nights! Indie rock venue hopes to draw crowds - Brooklyn Paper

Crown Heights nights! Indie rock venue hopes to draw crowds

Crown Heights nights: The music venue Friends and Lovers is the brainchild of Eric Sosa and Diana Mora, here in front of their future space. The rock shop is set to open in November.
Stefano Giovannini

Crown Heights hipsters tired of trekking to Williamsburg to catch an indie rock show are setting up a music hall in their own backyard.

The venue, Friends and Lovers, is the latest in a wave of trendy businesses to open in the rapidly gentrifying area around Franklin Avenue, but owners say it will be the first to rock around the clock.

“We were living in Crown Heights and we thought that there was really nowhere to see live music,” said Eric Sosa, one of the scenesters behind the new venture. “There are bars that do music, but there’s nowhere to go seven days a week.”

The rock shop is set to open in November on a light industrial block of Classon Avenue between Pacific and Dean streets, across the street from a place that sells live chickens and goats. Friends and Lovers’ owners say the name was inspired by the huge amount of support they received from their bros and beaus when first pitching the venue plan.

The nearby Franklin Avenue corridor has been transformed in the last half-decade, with more than 50 businesses opening since 2008, but the aural entrepreneurs say the establishments have made the area a destination for cold brew coffee and brick oven pizza — not nightlife, yet.

The pair of proprietors have lived in the neighborhood for three years and Sosa will bring business chops from Dumbo’s Galapagos Art Space and other venues where he has booked acts. The two friends — not lovers — say they hope to recreate the cozy, eclectic vibe of the Manhattan indie hot spot Pianos.

The two say they think the honky-tonk will be a hit with locals starved for live indie rock and electronic music, and that they are not worried about rising rents pushing out their bohemian customer base just yet.“[Crown Heights is] actually a hotbed for creativity and entrepreneurs,” Mora said.

Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the neighborhood increased $165 over the last 13 months to $2,190, according to the Brooklyn Rental Market report.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at jlutz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.

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