Bloggy Goodness: Pete Shapiro’s Rock And Roll Playhouse

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Since returning to the music venue business with the opening of Brooklyn Bowl back in 2009, Pete Shapiro has continued to add to new rooms to his growing portfolio over the last few years. Shapiro’s latest venture is aimed at a slightly different audience, as he has announced the opening of The Rock And Roll Playhouse – a kid-friendly space at 280 Bond Street in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn.

The venue will feature “20 different programs for the different age groups including: Beatles for Babies, Little Rockers, Rockers, and Big Rockers; Reggae for Babies and Little Rockers; Rock and Roll Storytime for Little Rockers; a theatrical Rock and Roll Stories for Rockers; World Music for all age groups; Drawing Rock and Roll; and Introductory programs focused on Songwriting, Guitar, Percussion and Keyboards.” The Rock And Roll Playhouse, which is slated to open this winter, will include classes for adults, a full bar and food courtesy of the folks at Blue Ribbon Brassiere.

Finally, last year David Byrne and St. Vincent teamed up to release Love This Giant, a twelve-track collection that received a heap of critical praise. The duo, who mounted an extensive world-tour that featured a slew of musicians and dancers, will once again head out together for a lengthy world tour that kicks off with a gig at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey on June 12. Prior to all that though, Mr. Byrne and Ms. Clark have announced the release of Brass Tactics – a new five-song EP that you can download for free. The EP features a previously unreleased tune that didn’t make the album, as well as two live tracks recorded last year and two remixes. Here’s the track list…

David Byrne & St. Vincent – Brass Tactics EP

Cissus (previously unreleased) / I Should Watch TV (M. Stine Remix) / Lightning (Kent Rockafeller Remix) / Marrow (live) / Road To Nowhere (live)

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One thought on “Bloggy Goodness: Pete Shapiro’s Rock And Roll Playhouse

  1. We Are Gowanus Reply

    Dear Readers,

    Shapiro’s planned Rock & Roll Playhouse (RRHP) is not what it appears to be. When local residents initially contacted RRPH to try and understand their plans, the company’s executive director, Amy Striem, represented that this was to be a children’s venue with a restaurant at night. Public filings and later conversations with RRPH representatives (including Streim and Peter Shapiro) reveal that their plans are far different from those represented.

    The heart of the planned RRPH is to turn 280 Bond Street, which directly abuts six residential homes, into a noisy, late-night music destination, complete with a contingent of veteran security officers from Shapiro’s Brooklyn Bowl to deal with the expected crowds. According to RRPH representatives and planning documents, the club will feature musical concerts seven days a week, offering both indoor and outdoor seating in an area that can feasibly hold more than 600 seated or 1500 standing patrons at a time. They plan on serving alcohol from a full bar until 1:30 a.m. on weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends. Far from a family-friendly restaurant destination, no one under 21-years-old will be admitted after 8 p.m. on any night.

    The truth is that Shapiro does not operate neighborhood restaurants or venues designed for children; Shapiro operates clubs — big clubs. His plans for the club show more than a simple disregard of residents’ concerns. His plans seem intended to cause the deterioration of area residents’ quality of life. According to Shapiro, the musical acts at the club will perform on a stage running along the back wall of the building, abutting residential homes owned by families with young children. The exterior walls will not be treated for soundproofing, and installing sound insulation on the interior of the brick walls remains outside his contractor’s scope of work. Large doors between the indoor and outdoor space will increase noise, as will their plan to lower the exterior garden wall along Bond St. to half it’s current height. The club plans on providing no parking, meaning patrons will clog traffic at the club’s entrance on Bond Street and jockey for spaces along the area’s residential streets most of the night. Smoking will not be allowed in the garden; RRPH says smokers will be directed just outside, to Bond Street.

    In response to RRPH’s plans for 280 Bond and due to a general concern about the lack of planning being considered for commercial development along the Gowanus canal, area residents have banded together to form We Are Gowanus (WAG). This is not a NIMBY fight. We are pro-development of the Bond Street corridor. Many of our members own businesses in the neighborhood and elsewhere. But we will fight to keep development of Bond Street consistent with the intent of city zoning regulations and in keeping with the historic residential neighborhood that runs its length. We are property owners and taxpayers and we support the many reasonable low-impact developments along Bond Street that will benefit the community overall and will burnish the efforts to revitalize and beautify Gowanus. The Rock & Roll Playhouse is not one of those developments; instead it will provide an un-needed service in a badly planned location, one that is inconsistent with the neighborhood and detrimental to all in the tight-knit community of Gowanus.

    Further information can be found on our website:
    WAG representatives are also available via email at

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