The defilement of the Williamsburg waterfront continues apace. Two weeks after Death by Audio announced they’d be closing in November, yesterday Bedford+Bowery reported that Brooklyn Rod and Gun is shutting its doors by year’s end, too. It seems that the social club saw the writing on the wall. “The jig is up,” organizer Chris Raymond told B+B, “and we’re moving on.” He could have been speaking about the tenability of any DIY space in Williamsburg.
Brooklyn Rod and Gun opened in an old warehouse on Kent Avenue in 2009 as a fishing club-cum-social spot for Raymond’s friends, many of whom were semi-employed, inclined-to-chill fathers. They congregated to drink beer, play banjo, and talk about fishing—which, as history shows us, is really talking about life. (The New York Times memorably called Brooklyn Rod and Gun an “old-timey dude’s world.”)
Since then, membership has grown to include more than 100 people, although for $10 any person can get in for a night. It quickly became a great place to hang out, a refreshingly unpretentious spot where, on any given night, you might walk into a movie screening, a hootenanny, a whiskey revue, or a reading. As glassy condos went up and the other weird venues along Kent started to close, Brooklyn Rod and Gun seemed ever more a remote outpost from a bygone era.
As to whether or not it will set up shop elsewhere, Raymond told B+B that he doesn’t know “what the Rod and Gun will look like in the coming year, if we’ll have a brick and mortar, and I don’t know how we’ll move forward as an organization.”