It’s time to up your self-importance, FiPSters! There’s going to be a new venue in town with your name on it. By in town, I mean luxurious Gowanus and by it, I mean your badass, satin members only jacket. Select residents will be able to enjoy fine wines and handcrafted cocktails as they poo-poo the rest of us from high atop their ivory tower. Well, not exactly an ivory tower, more like a converted auto body shop from 1931 with a 1930 Model A Ford Roadster parked out front.
The man behind the operation is Carroll Gardens resident and owner of The Green Building at Union and Bond, Akiva Reich. If you aren’t familiar, The Green Building is a gorgeous yet rustic venue that is rented out for all kinds of events, from weddings to music videos, for a premium. I’ve peered in an open door when it’s hopping and let me tell you, it’s a class act. In fact my wife and I considered getting hitched at the space but instead chose to make our vows on the glowing banks of the Gowanus…for the ambience. (Is he joking? That’s not romantic.)
Called 501 Social, Reich’s new space will host private events on weekends, accommodating up to 200 people, and will fill the much-needed role of private members only club Monday-Thursday, offering eats, drinks, Ping-Pong and Bingo (for real). I picture the Water Buffalo Lodge from the Flintstones, though I believe Reich has more refinement in mind. He maintains that the new space will be totally boss (my words, not his), complete with a 50-foot skylight, designer lighting fixtures by Jason Miller, 1300sf of outdoor space, a cocktail lounge with a separate entrance…and all the welcoming acceptance of Mississippi in the 1950’s.
In addition to exclusivity and private events, the space will offer a discounted rate to community groups, non-profits, and schools…band geeks pay extra.
With all the subtlety of a bull in a minefield Reich was quoted saying, “When people are driving down Union Street and they’re seeing crazy cars out front, but no signage, it creates this desire. They’re dying to know what’s inside. It’s wanting something you can’t have.” I don’t know, Activa, when I see a “crazy” car outside I think, “Hey, look! Look at the crazy car." For me neon signage is my life’s roadmap, telling me what to get and where to get it. Shine an IHOP in this writer’s direction and I’ll show you a dude with maple syrup on his bib fashioned out of a napkin.
I’d say see you soon at the club, but I’m told my member’s only jacket is on back order (zoom in on my Debbie Downer face).