House of Yay! Acrobats high on new home in Bushwick

Hanging on: Anya Sapozhnikova, aerialist and founder of performance group the House of Yes, is putting on one last show in the beloved space.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

A scrappy acrobatic arts venue has signed a new lease on life.

The House Of Yes has been homeless since the lease on its Williasmburg space ran out last summer, but its founders inked a deal for new digs in Bushwick on Friday afternoon.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Anya, an acrobat and aerialist who runs the organization with artists Kae Burke and Elena Delgado. “I have gotten really good at not getting my hopes up in the past six months.”

The new performance parlor will have a larger stage and seating area than the old one, not to mention a smokehouse restaurant, a bar, and an outdoor lounge.

“This space is going to be a little bit more professional and sustainable,” Sapozhnikova said.

The troupe’s new home at the corner of Wyckoff and Jefferson avenues last housed a laundromat and will need an extensive renovation before the new House of Yes can affirmatively open. The circus crew needs to raise the ceiling from its current height of 17 feet to around 30 to accommodate its high-flying classes and shows.

The aerial art house also needs a liquor license before it can open its doors.

“Everything is 100 percent hinging on the liquor license,” said Sapozhnikova. “This place will not be sustainable without it.”

Restaurateur Ilan Telmont, who also owns the recently-opened Bake Shop on Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg as well as three cafes in Manhattan, plans to run the smokehouse and bar in the venue and host “circus brunches” on the weekends.

“There will be people performing, DJs, a fashion show,” said Telmont “Every brunch will be different.”

The team of tumblers will continue to throw shows, run its circus school, The Sky Box, and rent the space out to other entertainers. The organization also plans to begin putting on children’s performances.

“We want to do them once a month on Sundays, with deep discounts for neighborhood kids,” said Sapozhnikova. “We really want to expose the neighborhood kids to circus arts.”

Sapozhnikova said she expects the venue to open in late summer or early fall if all goes well.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

More from Around New York

>