Three former music executives at the Knitting Factory will open a cavernous indie music venue in a former 19th-century brewery on Meserole Street.
The new venue, called “The Wick,” will be the ground floor of the former Hittleman Brewery near Bushwick Avenue — a building that already houses several music-related companies, including an equipment shop, a rehearsal space and a music-focused radio station.
That’s what attracted General Manager Joshua Richholt, talent booker of the moment Chris White and operations manager Shay Vishawadia.
“The building is sort of a Mecca for musicians,” said Richholt. “If they want to rehearse overnight or have a studio session, they can go down to the recording studio. A touring band can come through here and not need to go anywhere else.”
The plan calls for a main stage and a bar that can hold 400 and 700 people. It could open as early as this summer.
There’s plenty of local competition, as high rents in Manhattan have encouraged many new venues to open in Brooklyn — including the Knitting Factory itself. But Richholt believes his space will attract musicians gravitating away from “Walmart-style” places with corporate backing (not that he was talking about the Music Hall of Williamsburg, of course).
Richholt is convinced that he’ll draw an eclectic mix of acts as well as high-caliber rock talent thanks to White’s connections in the industry.
Plus, rocking out in a former brewery adds more than just the stench of authenticity.
“You come into the space and say, ‘Wow! Amazing!’” said Richholt. “Aside from being built to be a brewery, it was made to be a venue. They even have kegs built into the walls!”
Community leaders are equally excited that someone is finally using the ground floor of the building, which has served as storage space intermittently for decades.
“I don’t like empty commercial buildings left alone,” said Community Board 1 Public Safety Committee Chairman Mieszko Kalita, whose panel supported a liquor license last week. “I hope they can make proper use of the building. Hopefully they can breathe some life into it.”