How Bushwick-Area Nightlife Venues Have Reacted to The Omicron Surge

An update on how local music and nightlife venues are reacting to the Omicron surge, including details on New Year’s Eve events.

Our Wicked Lady

On Dec. 18, Our Wicked Lady (OWL) announced that it would close for the rest of the week. Despite an earlier Instagram post saying that OWL hoped to reopen today, Dec. 27, the venue is actually not reopening until Wednesday, Dec. 29.

In an email to Bushwick Daily, an OWL staff member explained the venue’s rationale for closing: 

“Given the uptick in cases in the last week, lots of shows were canceling and a few of our staff members had tested positive, despite being double vaxed. We thought it made the most sense to close for that duration so our staff could quarantine, rest up and get boosted before we deep clean and reopen.”

Location: 153 Morgan Ave.

Elsewhere

The multi-level Bushwick mainstay announced its closure on Dec. 17 by way of an Instagram post. Specifically, Elsewhere announced the decision to cancel Papi Juice, the popular queer and POC-centered party that was scheduled to take place that night. The venue had previously announced a five-week closure scheduled to start Dec. 18 with the exception of New Year’s Eve and a Jan. 5 event. Since then, the venue has announced the cancellation of its New Year’s Eve party. The Jan. 5 event appears to be moving forward. 

In a written message to Bushwick Daily, Elsewhere wrote: 

“We have chosen to cancel our New Year’s Eve event this year for everyone’s health and safety.”

Location: 599 Johnson Ave.

Brooklyn Steel

On Dec. 18, Brooklyn Steel announced the cancellation of the last three shows of LCD Soundsystem’s 20-day residency. The venue announced that the shows on Dec. 19, 20 and 21 would be canceled and that ticket holders would get a refund. LCD Soundsystem crowdsourced the decision. 

On Dec. 17, the band posted a lengthy letter to Instagram explaining its rationale for going on with the show that night:

“But we said we would play, and people are coming, so we are playing. But let’s be very, very clear – we are not saying by playing that we think it’s not a place you can catch Covid or anything else, really. It’s become clear that more and more people use soft data like ‘see? This sports team is still playing in front of fans!’ to assess whether something is risky or not. I get it, but that seems nuts. Us playing the show is in no way an indicator that it’s safe to attend.”

The group then asked ticket holders to weigh in on the fate of the three remaining shows. Ultimately, the band made the collaborative decision to cancel based on feedback to the post. 

Patti Smith’s show at Brooklyn Steel, originally scheduled for Dec. 28, has been rescheduled to February 22. Otherwise, the venue has not made any general announcements regarding future shows or plans. Brooklyn Steel did not reply to a request for comment. 

Location: 319 Frost St.

Bossa Nova Civic Club

This classic Myrtle Avenue spot announced its initial closure on Instagram on Dec. 16, announcing that it would be closed on both Dec. 16 and Dec. 17. A few days later, the venue posted a cheeky update.

Currently, the venue is still closed.

Bossa Nova Civic Club did not respond to a request for comment.

Location: 1271 Myrtle Ave.

Jupiter Disco

This Bushwick nightlife mainstay closed on Dec. 16 due to a potential Covid exposure. On Dec. 17, the venue announced its decision to remain closed due to the Covid surge on its Instagram account. The next day, Jupiter Disco announced its closure until further notice, writing: 

“We can’t wait to party with you all again, but the reality is that it doesn’t feel safe at this moment and we don’t feel comfortable opening our doors given the current surge in cases. We’ll be monitoring things closely and working on new health and safety protocols for when we can reopen. Stay safe and please continue to get tested!”

Location: 1237 Flushing Ave.

The Brooklyn Monarch

When asked about the venue’s opening status in light of the Covid surge in the city, James Gaskill of the Brooklyn Monarch responded with this written statement: 

“We are following all the protocols put in place by the city and state, we have cancelled the majority of our events, and only a few have chosen to keep their events, so for those we are doing on site mandatory rapid tests, making sure only those that test negative are allowed in.”

Currently, the venue’s New Year’s Eve celebration is still on.

Location: 23 Meadow St.

TV Eye

Then, on Christmas Eve, the venue announced plans to cancel its New Year’s Eve extravaganza and to close until further notice. 

TV Eye did not respond to a request for further comment. 

Location: 1647 Weirfield St.

Brooklyn Made

One of Bushwick’s newest music venues, Brooklyn Made, announced on Dec. 21 that it would close its doors for the remainder of the year and for the first two weeks of January.

“We’re taking this time for a tune up and maintenance after an amazing opening run. Wishing all the fans, artists and staff a happy and healthy holiday season. Please stay safe and see you at @tallheights on Saturday, January 15!” the venue wrote in an Instagram post.

Location: 428 Troutman St.

House of Yes

House of Yes did not respond to a request for comment and has not posted anything related to the Omicron surge to its Instagram grid. The venue offered a last-minute livestream option for its Dec. 21 House of Yes Xmas Spectacular. Otherwise, it is unclear whether the venue has made any changes to its previously scheduled performances and parties. It appears that Gala Galactica: New Year’s Eve is still on. 

Location: 2 Wyckoff Ave.

The Sultan Room

The venue didn’t respond to a request for comment. However, the venue’s schedule indicates that shows will resume Wednesday, Dec. 29.

Also, the club is also currently moving forward with hosting the Bushwig FAB NYE event. According to Bushwig’s Instagram, the drag group will be live streaming the show and sending links to the stream to those who are unable to physically attend. For those still planning to go to the in-person bash, “rapid tests, masks and hugs will be available at the door.” Tickets to the livestream are available for purchase. 

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