249 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11215
Hours: Sun-Wed 5p-2a, Thu-Sat 5p-4a
Subway: D,N,R to Union St
Written by: Daniel Morrow
“No frills, no product placement, just good sounding music,” says The Rock Shop’s manager, Brian Hakenrider. This ethos is establishing The Rock Shop as quite the local hot spot. The venue is run by people with an established pedigree in the New York music environment, who have worked at well-known clubs in Manhattan.
The Rock Shop has smartly created its own Brooklyn personalilty. A look at the ground floor performance room reveals an intimate space, with a tall stage and comfortable sofas surrounding a large standing area. Its intimate confines give the venue a real, palpable energy. The room has also been acoustically treated so that, for sound and vibe, it is a quality place for up-and-coming bands to play and build a following.
Although national touring acts and regionally renowned bands play here, it is local bands that fill the majority of the evening slots, giving the venue a distinct neighborhood flavor. The community spirit is adding greatly to The Rock Shop’s appeal, but the venue’s popularity can also be attributed to the many other attractions it has to offer. Brian describes the place as “a one-stop shop: music, sports and a great place to hang out.”
There are 10 flat-screen TVs mounted around the venue and a quality jukebox. The upstairs is equipped with a pool table, dartboard and non-stop televised sports. There is also a wonderful roof-top deck encased by bamboo shoots. Bands are already claiming this area as the venue’s green room!
Indie rock music is The Rock Shop’s mainstay. There are plans for occasional jazz shows and even comedy acts. The versatility of the venue allows it to morph naturally from sports bar to music venue to comedy club to late night hang-out. It is this fresh and open approach that makes The Rock Shop both a cool place to hang out and a respected music venue for local and touring bands.