In June, nightlife veteran Peter Shapiro will open Brooklyn Bowl, a 16-lane, 8,000-square-foot bowling alley, restaurant and concert venue in Williamsburg—a neighborhood that takes its summer fun very seriously. New York Press caught up with Shapiro to find out how his hotly anticipated lanes will fare with the McCarren Park crowd.
You’re doing a bowling alley, concert space and restaurant—doesn’t Williamsburg have all of those? What are you going to bring to the table?
Brooklyn Bowl is an attempt to try to do the live music experience in a different way. There are a lot of great live music venues in New York, but they’re usually one room. Brooklyn Bowl is an effort to change it up a bit. It’s going to be an amazing place to watch a show, but when we’re not doing a show, we can run Led Zeppelin through the concert sound system and it will be great.
You’re bringing in a Blue Ribbon restaurant—is this going to be the fanciest place in the neighborhood?
We’re doing a couple of key things: Everything on the menu is under $20; the menu has also been created to be a bowling menu so we’re not coming in with sushi, but we are coming in with fried chicken and French bread pizza and burgers.
What kind of live music are you planning to bring in?
We don’t want to book this kind of music or that kind of music, we just want to do great [bands]. We have steel rigging above the stage for acrobats—nobody else has that. I was a founding partner in the Slipper Room, so we’re bringing that vibe. We’ll do fucking anything as long as its good.
What’s going to make people want to hang out at Brooklyn Bowl this summer?
All of our beer is from Brooklyn—it’s all draft and we share a wall with Brooklyn Brewery—so we’ll always have really fresh, really cold beer. Long-term we have enough space for a special plan for an outdoor space. Otherwise we’ve got a brand new, huge air conditioning unit.
How well do you bowl?
I better start getting good; I have to focus on that.