Extended play: Hybrid cafe, venue, and bar for vinyl lovers opening in ancient Gowanus building

Ready to spin: A new bar, café, and concert venue space under the name Public Records is set to open on March 19 on Butler street, and will host space for vinyl aficianados to enjoy vegan food and a hi-fi sound system.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

It’s a new spin on an old building!

A new café, bar, and performance space called Public Records is reportedly set to open inside a more than century-old Gowanus building in the coming weeks.

The hybrid business will consist of three rooms inside the Butler Street property, which for decades housed the Kings County chapter of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and later a guitar shop, before the musicians moved out last year.

One room will feature a vegan café, with the second serving as a venue for live performances, and the third refashioned as a so-called record bar, where the owners will pour drinks as collectors spin their rare vinyl, according to report by London-based culture publication Fact magazine.

Owners of the new spot between Nevins and Bond streets near the end of the fetid Gowanus Canal will welcome its first patrons at back-to-back concerts on March 19 and 20, before officially opening Public Records on March 21, according to a post on the establishment’s Facebook page.

The animal society moved into the building following its completion back in 1913, vacating it more than six decades later in 1979, according to a Brownstoner report. Subsequent tenants included two pipe-organ businesses, DNA Info reported, and stringed-instrument seller RetroFret Vintage Guitars, whose owners moved their shop to Carroll Gardens last September.

Bigwigs at Manhattan-based developer Surtsey Realty Company LLC bought the property for $9.5 million in 2017, filing plans with the Department of Buildings to convert it into a restaurant, bar, and retail venue later that year, which the agency granted in February, according to public records.

The owners of Public Records did not return requests for comment.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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