Extended play: Hybrid cafe, venue, and bar for vinyl lovers opening in ancient Gowanus building

Ready to spin: A new bar, café, and concert venue space under the name Public Records is set to open on March 19 on Butler street, and will host space for vinyl aficianados to enjoy vegan food and a hi-fi sound system.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

It’s a new spin on an old building!

A new café, bar, and performance space called Public Records is reportedly set to open inside a more than century-old Gowanus building in the coming weeks.

The hybrid business will consist of three rooms inside the Butler Street property, which for decades housed the Kings County chapter of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and later a guitar shop, before the musicians moved out last year.

One room will feature a vegan café, with the second serving as a venue for live performances, and the third refashioned as a so-called record bar, where the owners will pour drinks as collectors spin their rare vinyl, according to report by London-based culture publication Fact magazine.

Owners of the new spot between Nevins and Bond streets near the end of the fetid Gowanus Canal will welcome its first patrons at back-to-back concerts on March 19 and 20, before officially opening Public Records on March 21, according to a post on the establishm­ent’s Facebook page.

The animal society moved into the building following its completion back in 1913, vacating it more than six decades later in 1979, according to a Brownstoner report. Subsequent tenants included two pipe-organ businesses, DNA Info reported, and stringed-instrument seller RetroFret Vintage Guitars, whose owners moved their shop to Carroll Gardens last September.

Bigwigs at Manhattan-based developer Surtsey Realty Company LLC bought the property for $9.5 million in 2017, filing plans with the Department of Buildings to convert it into a restaurant, bar, and retail venue later that year, which the agency granted in February, according to public records.

The owners of Public Records did not return requests for comment.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 11:40 am, March 11, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Hônêy Pòót?r from Williamsburg says:
106 years old is hardly ancient. Most buildings in Brooklyn are older.
March 9, 2019, 4:45 am from Bay Ridge says:
I have a variety of old LPs that are still playable which I would be happy to donate to your new venture. Please contact me for additional information and I can send you a list of same. Thanks
March 10, 2019, 1 pm
Andrew Porter from Brooklyn Heights says:
Ha ha, Honey P, I had the same reaction. I'm not sure you could say most Brooklyn buildings are older, but 'ancient' surely is hyperbole. Also, the article halfway-down says ASPCA occupied it for six decades, which is hardly the 'centuries' mentioned earlier. Even if they occupied it for the full 106 years, 'centuries' might be literally correct to use the plural, but realistically it's a stretch.
March 11, 2019, 10:36 am
Ro from Pete says:
@Honey P & Andrew P: I laughed at the word ancient, too. Having visited Rome, I consider their 2,000 remnants from the Roman Empire to be ancient. There is a person I know of who is just as old. I would not want to call her ancient, even if the birthday cake could be a fire hazard.
March 12, 2019, 5:12 pm
Ro from Pete says:
Clarification (above): the person is about as old as the Gowanus building, not the Roman Empire. Ha!
March 12, 2019, 5:15 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: