Gracing the entrance, the building has an old sign in faded-out powder white, announcing “SENECA PORK STORE INC.” But on the boot black door underneath, little letters traced out read the name “PLANET X,” a punk-style bar that had opened its doors for the first time this past weekend.
The bar’s deliberately shuttered windows give the impression of a basement without the inconvenience of stairs. Dark, funky colors dominate, oversaturate and evoke scenes from Wilt Stillman’s “Last Days Of Disco.” The old commercial space is rather flat and uninteresting, so the walls are leaned on to entertain. Posters of ‘80s icons; gel-lamps that evoke strange, glowing fish hang about; a disco ball, too, hangs from the ceiling.
The project brings to mind, with some success, the neon-bulb garden of Birdy’s: the late-night haunt on Myrtle Avenue. The managers from Birdy’s have taken this long abandoned meat shoppe in Ridgewood as their latest outpost. The lack of the former’s mini-patio is, however, unfortunate. It did not deter, however, a crowd of surly Bushwick residents to make the trek there on opening night and begin the work of standing outside and smoking cigarettes on Seneca Avenue as if it were, maybe just for tonight, somewhere else.
The bar’s energy is similarly liminal. Amongst forceful dashes of dive-bar whateverness the space has character emerging from the rich, glowing pink walls. The idea of the ‘80s, cool and creaseless, is in the air. Expect to hear the zag of early Cure records.
The signless appearance gives the impression of a private club, something intruding little on a space that feels already looked-over by a passerby. Though Bad Old Days is really only around the corner, the side of the street feels oddly bereft of those new-feeling low-key bars. Planet X is here for you.
On some nights, Planet X will put on a DJ in the lower floor. This downstairs, which one bartender, on a less busy night, said was still being worked on, is concrete and cozy and will, someday, host a cool band.
Those landing at Planet X can find fun and very affordable drinks at the bar. The names read like abandoned nightclubs frequented by Bill Hader’s “SNL” character Stefon. The Woo Woo. The Blue Lagoon. The Golden Colada. These come in a variety of fun glasses, largely topped with the typical maraschino cherry and are, remarkably, priced at $7. The most expensive item available at all are the $12 bottles of Duval, a bitter Belgian luxury. Miniature Slim Jims are also available, sold from a box, 3 for a dollar. Chips too, $2.
Hours: 2pm to 4am Friday through Sunday; 5pm to 4am Monday through Thursday.
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Cover Image courtesy of Planet X.
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