If you did not make out with a stranger veiled from the drunk crowds by a smoke machine and a couple of green lasers, it’s like you haven’t even been young in Bushwick. One of the first “hipster” bars in Bushwick, Tandem, located at a former garage at 236 Troutman Street has announced its demise yesterday on their Facebook page stating that its last day will be November 1 leaving us with only a little over a week to say our good bye:
“After almost 7 years on Troutman street and countless sweaty nights in the back room, we are sad to announce the imminent closing of the bar. Sunday, November 1st will be Tandem’s last day. A heartfelt thank you to all of our amazing regulars, staff, patient neighbors & random walk-ins, cheers! And for those feeling wistful upon reading this news, please join us in celebrating Tandem for one last kale salad–side room make-out–Diablo— chilaquiles –and fog filled dance party!!”
Jane Virga who co-founded the bar with her sister Cathy told us this morning about her decision to close the bar: “I am expecting my third child in a few weeks and I have decided put all of my energy and passion into my ceramics studio.”
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support and love from everyone it’s a little overwhelming,” Jane continued. “For us, Tandem has been an incredible outlet and we are excited about its next chapter and are looking to pass on the torch to a new tenant and fill the gap that Tandem’s closing will inevitably leave,” she hinted that a new tenant will soon replace Tandem.
Tandem Bar has not only been the home to countless parties (Famous in Bushwick, Witches of Bushwick, etc) and the spot to meet people, it was also a coveted cocktail bar and a restaurant with fantastic brunch and small plates where you were able to return the next day hungover after the crazy night of dancing and drinking. They have been offering delicious burgers, sandwiches and the afore-mentioned kale salad, which was hands down the best kale we’ve ever had. It will be really hard to replace Tandem in our hearts even in the neighborhood where new bars and restaurants open every week.
At Bushwick Daily we compiled some stories and memories of not only the greatest hook up bar in the history of this neighborhood. For a while Bushwick Daily has been using “the make out room” at Tandem for our editorial meetings. Please don’t hesitate to share your memories of Tandem in the comments.
“I met a girl there in the early evening. Totally sober, mind you. We talked for a while, got a little handsy. Then her boyfriend showed up. Which was a shock and a bummer until he offered us coke. (Yes, please.) He and I went into the bathroom to do it where he confessed he didn’t like me at first because he saw me “with” his girlfriend. But then he was at peace because, he said, ‘…love is transient.’ And that might be the most profound thing I’ve ever heard while getting messed up and doing awful karaoke until 2 am.” – Anonymous
“I suppose, my favorite memory is the one I can’t remember. At the halfway on my way home, I dive in to warm up my wintery rattling bones. It’s 7pm and there’s only the bartender talking to two lovely Latinas. After getting something warm in me, I get to flirting with the two. Each of us buys rounds of tequila, then some affectionate touching back and forth – and round and round we go. I wake up. Its morning. Mostly clothed? Wondering how I got home. On my nightstand is a note, “I had a wonderful time xoxo” and no number.” – Anonymous
“When I joined Bushwick Daily four years ago, I was feeling a little isolated. (Okay, fine, I basically had zero friends in the neighborhood.) I contacted Katarina on a whim and she invited me to meet the editorial team at Tandem. Each week after that, we’d stake out a table in the bar’s small candlelit back room after work, pitching ideas, developing a road map for the hyperlocal blog, drinking beers, and, of course, becoming friends. I’ll never forget those warm and creative weekly meetings at Tandem; they gave me support and inspiration when I felt I had no roots.” – Wesley Salazar
“I was about two weeks fresh to NYC when I woke up one Sunday morning somewhere off the Lorimer J in a foreign bed with Brooklyn girl… the kind Catey Shaw sings about. As I awkwardly looked for my pants I asked her for brunch recommendations. She mentioned Tandem. I arrived to find Will outside smoking a cigarette. He told me that they weren’t open yet.. I said no problem and napped on the bench till 11am. Once inside I pulled up a bar stool had a shot of whiskey, a tall french press before my chilaquiles with kale, grits and bacon. A meal that got me through so many Sundays for the next three years… ” –Anonymous
“I lived on the same block as tandem for four years and have countless stories- some great, some terrible, always memorable. One of my favorite times was a few weeks after moving in back in 2011, heading over to Tandem to check out the karaoke they used to do in the backroom. It very serious gathering of six people switching off with the mic. This “fun karaoke” night was really each of them, glasses-and-sweater wearing late 20s woman, or bearded, flannel hipster dude, standing up, taking the mic, doing their thing, stone-faced, then sitting back down. No smiles, laughs, seldom clapping, and definitely no welcoming attitude towards strangers in their performance club. Welp, we were there to have some fun so I requested “Just a Girl” By No Doubt and we went for it. Four Girls on one mic and our dude friend dancing next to us as our hype man, we must have looked quite the posse. When we finished, we scrambled back to our seats, flushed with excitement and embarrassment. Not one person clapped. Then the next dude took the stage to sing some Rod Stewart crap.” – Maria Gotay
Make use of what Tandem has to offer in the upcoming days — go eat those delicious sandwiches and make out in the backroom. Go check out Final Full Service Party on October 29 starting at 10PM, as well as Halloween Edition of Famous in Bushwick on Saturday October 31 at 10pm. Both are as has always been the case in Tandem free.