Andrew Karpan 


Planet X is a planet out of this world, hanging beyond Neptune and will bring about the end of our world. Its sudden appearance will flip the magnetic pole of the earth, unleash many tsunamis. “Planet X is going to grab the Earth’s crust and slide it over the North Pole,” obscure doomsayer Gordon James Gianninoto could be heard saying on Coast to Coast AM earlier this year. 

But if Planet X doesn’t kill us all, it will be nonetheless arriving on Earth, as the latest bar huddled around Ridgewood’s quietly gentrifying Seneca M Station. It will join such supple recent additions as The Seneca, Milo’s Yard and, just down the road, Bad Old Days. Taking the place of one of the shuttered pork shops of yesterday’s Ridgewood, it is the latest project of Andy Simmons and Holly MacGibbon, a couple who form local  “dark pop group” Weeknight and who have been, since 2015, running the Myrtle Avenue punk spot Birdy’s, where Bedford + Bowery’s Nicole Disser claims it “is not hard to imagine the ghost of Lou Reed slumping over the bar.” 

“At first, I didn’t know if I even wanted to run a bar,” Simmons reflects, after remarking on the sweet find of the Planet X’s own wooden bar-top, brought in stripped from an abandoned tavern that dated from the early 20th century. He and Holly have spent the past year stripping the Polish meat market away from its walls, while scouring the country for tchotchkes to redecorate.

Birdy’s interior courtesy of Brielle Chiavone.

He thinks about it, flicks back his Jack White haircut. “I think it’s helped creatively.” He and Holly still see themselves as artists; the music blog Stereogum had applauded their “gradually building neon synths.” Simmons plugs Weeknight’s latest release: an album called Dead Beat Creep, released in February on Dead Stare Records. 

More spacious and less tinbox than its sister bar, Planet X moves the nostalgia marker of Birdy’s ‘70s leather jacket dad look ahead a decade. A large disco ball is affixed at the center. A neon-lit rainbow portrait of Grace Jones hangs over a corner. 

“We have a lot of relaxing ‘80s cocktails we want to do,” MacGibbon says, and begins reading from a list on her phone. The Woo Woo. The Alabama Slammer. The Blue Lagoon. 

Also in the cards is a gigspace in the downstairs storage, which has been cleared out and can hold about 70 people. Simmons says he hopes it will be operational next year. 

Carnivorously stretching deep into the real heart of Ridgewood, Planet X struts carefully close to where the quiet streets of Queens begin, blocks of small brick apartment buildings and nameless bodegas. Out of this world.  

Planet X plans to open doors in early July at 801 Seneca Avenue.  

Cover image courtesy of author.

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