Sound off: Bushwick music venue Palisades closed for good

For rent: The building that housed Palisades is closed up, and the landlords are looking for new tenants.
Community News Group / Dennis Lynch

The kids aren’t all right.

Scrappy Bushwick music venue Palisades has closed, according to the building’s owner — a big loss for Brooklyn’s live music scene, say local musicians, and especially for young bands and fans, as it was one of the few stages in the borough that regularly hosted all-ages gigs.

“Losing Palisades is a big hit,” said Greenwood Heights resident Mike Quigley, whose band Washer played at the Broadway and Stockton Street venue around 20 times. “Especially in New York City where everything is driven by booze — that’s one less spot for the younger kids. It’s definitely a big blow.”

The city closed the venue in mid-June after finding it didn’t have a cabaret license (required for any venue with dancing), a place of assembly permit, a sprinkler system or a second exit, according to a Department of Buildings spokesman. Management originally said it would be back in a few days, though later revised that to “August,” according to blog Resident Advisor.

But a “for rent” sign went up on the door this week, as first reported by music site Thump, and the building owner confirmed Palisades — at least in that location — is no more.

“It is closed for good,” said Adela Ramirez.

Ramirez claimed she didn’t know immediately why the venue decided to call it quits or what the status of the sprinklers is — her husband is the one who acts as landlord, she said — but said they may rent it out as a live music venue again.

The department still has a partial vacate order on the property due to the violations. A building’s owner is ultimately responsible for making sure the property has the necessary permits and is up to code, the agency spokesman said.

Performers say they will take away great memories of Palisades from its two short years on the corner — especially of its welcoming and well-connected bookers, who would let a new act play its first gig to five people there one day and book a big act there the next.

“Speedy Ortiz was totally packed — it was sweaty and people everywhere,” said keytarist Catherine Anderson — whose bands Robot Princess and Geena Davis both played the venue — referring to a popular Massachusetts rock group. “But at the same time, I played weekend shows there with my band and other local bands. They didn’t discriminate.”

Quigley also fondly remembers the time the bookers allowed Washers to put on a benefit show for a sick friend — contributing all of the ticket sales and half of the bar earnings that night to the cause.

“They were super nice and supportive,” he said.

Palisades is at least the third area music venue to pull the plug recently — Williamsburg bar the Grand Victory and punk staple the Acheron both closed last month.

Youngsters looking for similar venues where they can rock out — or whatever the kids do these days — can still visit the Market Hotel and Silent Barn a few blocks from Palisades, or Shea Stadium and Aviv in Williamsburg.

Palisades’ owners could not be reached for comment.

Reach deputy editor Ruth Brown at rbrown@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8309. Follow her at twitter.com/rbbrown.
All the young dudes: The youthful crowd at a performance by then-17-year-old Swedish rapper Yung Lean at Palisades in 2014.
Stuart McAlpine / Flickr

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