Crown Heights nights! Indie rock venue hopes to draw crowds

The Brooklyn Paper
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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 or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
Posted 12:00 am, August 30, 2013
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Reasonable discourse

Jerry Ragovoy Jr. Jr. from Bed-Stuy says:
"Indie rock" is as bad as-- worse even-- than Bon Jovi, just with different haircuts and inane self-importance. Fail better next time, schmucks.
Aug. 30, 2013, 12:59 am
Pat I. from 70's Brooklyn says:
"Indie" is now hipsterspeak for our "Kickstarter campaign only raise 36.42" - 30 of which came from my grandmother".
Aug. 30, 2013, 7:16 am
Jay from Nyc says:
Indie is as dead as punk
Aug. 30, 2013, 12:30 pm
Bendrix says:
Hipsters stole this from the yuppies and made it ironic. That's what hipsters do. I'm no Andrew Dice Clay but that's the way I see it.
Aug. 30, 2013, 1:33 pm
laurel says:
Negativity brigade, shoutin it to the roof tops, "we are miserable ——s!!"
Aug. 31, 2013, 12:45 am
HJ Minihan from NYC says:
Brooklyn is getting worse and worse
The hipsters are ruining it , and the grime is awful
Sept. 1, 2013, 10:49 am
Ira from Harlem says:
Sad how the white hipsters continue to force working class black families out of their homes, driving them into dangerous areas that are the only affordable places to live, depriving black children of a fair education and the ability to live in safety.
Sept. 1, 2013, 2 pm
Dave from Park Slope says:
White hipsters?? Their last names are Mora and Sosa. Don't generalize.
Sept. 1, 2013, 4:58 pm
BP from Crown Heights says:
Wow! What is the matter with people who read this newspaper? Perhaps anti-depressants ought to be distributed along with the paper. A little positive energy goes a long way folks.
Sept. 3, 2013, 7:38 am
Mandy from Greenpoint says:
Lol at these comments. Sorry you hate live music??? Like get real people. Just because you're too lame or you think you're too old to participate in underground music doesn't mean you should bring others down about it.
Sept. 3, 2013, 2:26 pm
Anders from Prospect Heights says:
Funny, they forgot to mention that the hood already has a music venue serving up live music 7 nights a week. The Way Station on Washington Ave between Prospect PL and St Marks.
Sept. 7, 2013, 7:19 pm
Mathew from Crown Heights says:
Way Station is technically considered Prospect Heights.
Sept. 12, 2013, 8:42 am
Rebecca from Crown Heights says:
Worst name ever. If I were in a band, I would feel like a jerk playing at "Friends and Lovers".
Sept. 24, 2013, 3:56 pm
Clarke from Crown Heights says:
Washington Ave is the Eastern boundary of Prospect Heights . The Way Station is on the east side of the street . That puts the Way Station in Crown Heights .
Dec. 7, 2013, 7:28 pm
Scott from Lefferts says:
@Ira: Please explain in detail how "the white hipsters continue to force working class black families out of their homes." Please describe the process. Can you? Doubtful. You're just repeating talking points. It's easy. It's for dumb people. Do you think white hipsters say to themselves, "Man, I can not wait to displace working black families the next time I move!" It's more likely they say "I need somewhere to live, oh hey, that place looks like a neighborhood I can afford!" Who is renting to the white hipsters? The landlords. Two scenarios. The landlords are either from the neighborhood and are selling out their own to make more money, making them the real villains here. Or the landlords are not from the neighborhood, which means that no one in the neighborhood owns any of buildings, which means it was never *their* neighborhood to begin with.
May 15, 2014, 5:09 pm
Hope Brown from Fort Greene says:
Hello Mr. Eric I spoke with you a couple of months, back in reference to my husbands 50th Birthday being held their on Saturday January 17,2015. Im Hope Brown And I can, be reached at 718 502 7867 or @
Sept. 11, 2014, 10:09 pm

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