Have you walked past that closed down bar in Ridgewood on Harman St and Seneca Ave with the crazy neon signs and the blacked out windows thinking someone needs to do something with this place? You will thrilled to learn that hey, someone’s doing something with this place! Ridgewood resident, bartendress, and musician Laura Regan is fulfilling a longtime dream to finally open her own venue. Laura and co-owner Gabo Rodriguez of Supercrush Studios have been working very hard to create a bar well suited for the developed and diverse neighborhood it is joining.
There has been outspoken skepticism of new bars opening in such a great area, but it is clear from interviewing Regan is that she and Rodriguez have every intention of making this bar a local establishment that respects existing mainstays in the neighborhood. In fact, both owners have been doing a lot of great things for the artists and the neighborhood prior to opening this bar.
Gabo Rodriguez will utilize his connections to music scenes in Brooklyn, San Juan and Buenos Aires to book the shows at Footlight Club
Rodriguez is the founder of Supercrush Studios, which will be acting as the main talent buyer for Footlight, and is also responsible for Out In the Streets, the incredible summer music festival that has taken place at the Onderdonk House the past few years. This event was one of the first to really open people’s eyes up to how much culture Ridgewood has. He has been making waves in the Brooklyn music scene as a Latino promoter and with the fantastic shows he puts together for Northside Festival, CMJ and a variety of other showcases throughout Brooklyn.
Laura Regan, on the bar of the Foot Light Club
Regan, in addition to having been a bartender both in Brooklyn and Boston for many years, helped facilitate the location for NYC Talent Showdown at Dixon Place in the Lower East Side. She was the assistant tour booker for Mark Bauer at EKG Booking and started tour booking on her own under the name Reality Bites Booking where she helped touring bands book shows throughout the country. Regan also fronted the band called BatS for a number of years, toured the country, and recorded albums. Currently, Regan is in the band HAWT ME$$, however, once she found Ridgewood she realized that her dreams of fostering local connections trump her desire to tour her music.
The connections Laura and Gabo have created in realizing this bar are special because many are hyperlocal to the neighborhood. They are collaborating and working with many Ridgewood businesses and people to support their establishment, which is slated to be open in late Fall of 2015. Some people have inquired about whether the sign on the front of the bar will remain as is (since it is super gaudy and fabulous). Laura says, “We have to take down the Equinoxio sign not only for aesthetic but also for legal reasons.” However, they are going to keep the neon sign but make it more subdued, with the help of Artistic Neon, a local neon company that is featured in the documentary Gasper & Son. In addition to the sign, they are working with local contractors and are excited to be a dynamic part of the rich community that makes Ridgewood so unique.
“Everything will be to make it a little more welcoming and inviting. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be accessible.”
In the fall, when the Footlight Club steps into the spotlight, there aren’t too many physical changes to be made, but Regan promises it will drop the vampiric aesthetic as they open up the windows and make the place a friendlier. There will be a focus on affordable draft beer –some brewed locally in Ridgewood. They are doing everything to meet the requirements to have a liquor and wine selection as well but their main product will be beer! We love beer! One can also look forward to snacks like bagged chips, nuts and popcorn. The goal is to become a local haunt for all walks of life.
Aside from the flowing booze, there will be nightly programming in the back room with comedy, open mics, a variety of music shows that include Laura’s love of experimental LES theatre and Gabo’s connections to music in Brooklyn, San Juan, and Buenos Aires. This type of diversity will help keep the events exciting, creative and appeal to the many residents of Ridgewood. Laura and Gabo’s desire to maintain a strong community means they will be doing their best to ensure that performers always get fair treatment and have a great experience. We anticipate more updates to come as the Footlight Club comes closer to their debut, so keep your eyes open and your feet light so you can hop on over and see some shows in Ridgewood this coming Fall!
While both Laura and Gabo have the passion and the drive they are asking for support in order to make the Footlight Club the best it can be. Check out their IndieGoGo campaign here!
Foot Light Club, 465 Seneca Ave, Ridgewood, to open in fall, stay tuned for details and follow them on Facebook.