“Bushwick is the place for rock and roll.”
That’s what Anthony Makes, former president of Live Nation’s New York operations, had to say about the decision to establish Brooklyn Made, a new 500-person capacity venue set to be located at 428 Troutman Street in Bushwick.
Brooklyn Made is the first venue operated exclusively by the company of the same name, launched by Makes in the summer of 2020. To bring the venue to life, Makes joined up with longtime friend and industry colleague Kelly Winrich, whom readers may know as a member of the San Diego indie-Americana band Delta Spirit.
“This venue is truly the headquarters for Brooklyn Made Presents,” Makes said in a press release. He and Winrich “wanted to create the most amazing club, and I know we’ve accomplished this with Brooklyn Made. The bells and whistles with this place are so far ahead of anything we’ve ever seen, and we know every single artist and fan that comes here is going to be blown away by the experience.”
While Makes handled the majority of the booking and financials, Winrich drew on his years touring with Delta Spirit as inspiration to put together a residential “oasis of touring life” above the venue, complete with a private swimming pool and multiple roof decks with views of Manhattan.
While the initial show schedule skews towards folk and country, Makes and Winrich say they plan to bring more contemporary rock and hip hop artists to the venue. Opening night will feature Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and alt-country legend Steve Earle also appears on the venue’s initial schedule. The venue will also feature unconventional acts like the eight-piece New Orleans brass band The Soul Rebels.
“We don’t want to be labeled as new little indie promoters doing indie bands in Bushwick,” Makes said. “We’re a rock venue that does all types of music… Every night of the week we want to offer something different.”
In addition to housing a different vibe and filling a potential void in the electronic-music-heavy neighborhood, Brooklyn Made also has a policy of giving artists the majority of proceeds from ticket sales and provides the apartment outfitted by Winrich as lodging for traveling acts.
Makes and Winrich say they were able to craft their dream venue at the 428 Troutman location without massive pressure to maximize profit on the space because the property was bought by Winrich’s parents, whom Winrich says met while playing together in a band before pursuing more fiscally practical careers in finance.
The venue property had a listing price of $11 million in 2018, according to the New York Post, which also reports the former owner, Charlie Kaim, bought the property for $900,000 in 2011.
Brooklyn Made will also feature a café that opens at 7 a.m. and will transform into a tapas spot in the evenings, as well as a bar called Connie’s that will stay open until 4 a.m., even on nights without shows.
When pressed, Makes said the company is not far enough into the hiring process to know whether the bartenders, cooks, and other employees producing the food and drinks that serve as two vital sources of income for the venue will be compensated with the same generosity extended towards the touring artists.
Jamie Schmitz, owner of a pub called the Rookery located across the street, says he saw all of this coming. Though the building stood empty for about a decade, the prospective buyers have long kept their eye on the spot, ready for the right moment to move in.
‘I’m not going to be a NIMBY about it,” Schmitz told Bushwick Daily. He expects Brooklyn Made’s presence to attract new customers who might otherwise have never made the trip out to Bushwick, both for the venue itself and the buzzing scene of ever-new restaurants and bars clustered around the Jefferson Street and Dekalb Avenue L-train stops.
Schmitz also said he’d heard rumors that hedge funds were interested in purchasing the property instead of Winrich’s parents.
Brooklyn Made plans to open the doors to its 500-person venue with a two-night run by Wilco-frontman Jeff Tweedy on September 30 and October 1. A full schedule of shows can be found here.
Image: Ethan Beberness
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