Checking Out The Bell House

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So what’s the verdict on The Bell House? Well, the short story is it’s fucking fantastic. Converted from an old warehouse in Gowanus, The Bell House has a nice rustic aesthetic, not too dissimilar from it’s sister watering hole, Union Hall, although it really feels more like someone added about 10,000 square feet to Quarter Bar in Greenwood Heights. The venue is divided between a homey bar in the front and a large performance space in the back. The draft selection at the bar was impeccable (Smuttyhouse on draft? Hell yes.) and the drinks were pretty fairly priced, with a pint of Sixpoint’s Hop Obama coming in at $5 and cans of beer at $4 dollars. At a venue in this city, those prices are pretty damn good.

But the owners really outdid themselves in the back room. Although extremely spacious, the performance space feels intimate, with a low stage, beautiful chandeliers, and rafters that give the post-industrial warehouse a decidedly pre-industrial vibe. The acoustics sounded great for a relaxed three piece like Low (who were, by the way, on their shit last night). Although it will be interesting to see how a louder band like The Veils handles the venue when the play on Oct. 3rd.

The only real problem I see the venue running into is its location. For Manhattanites, Gowanus is unexplored territory, and despite its safety, a lot of veteran Brooklynites still associate the neighborhood it with the infamous Gowanus Projects (which, I may note, are nowhere near the venue, and are a lot safer than the commenters at Brownstoner make them out to be). It’ll be great for the neighborhood if the venue can start drawing new people below 4th Ave., but only time will tell if that happens. Regardless, I’ll be there.

Photos/schedule below the cut.

Low @ The Bell House: (excuse the lo-res, camera phone photos)

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The Bell House schedule:

September:
25-28 – Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival

October
2 – Bang on a Can Office Night w/ M Shanghai String Band / Get Him Eat Him / Melomane / Babe the Blue Ox
3 – Melissa Ferrick / Matt The Electrician
6 – Department Of Eagles
11 – Liam Finn / The Veils
16 – Crown City Rockers
22 – La Strada / The Loom*
23 – Sam Champion / The Jealous Girlfriends / Mancino / The Silent League*
24 – The Rosebuds / The Ladybug Transistor / Crystal Stilts*

November
14 – The Sons & Heirs
15Ac Newman W/Special Guests

December
2
Vienna Teng / Peter Bradley Adams

*Part of CMJ

[The Bell House]

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