May 4, 2023
After eight years, Ode to Babel is closing in June
The sisters behind the beloved Black-owned Crown Heights bar and community hub plan to return with a social club called Babel Loft
Ode to Babel, a beloved Crown Heights bar owned by Marva Babel-Tucker and her twin sister Myriam, will be shutting its doors for good in June, according to an announcement on their Instagram page.
But this apparently won’t be the last we’ll see of a vibey space for Babel lovers: After Ode to Babel closes next month, they are planning to open Babel Loft. Per their website, Babel Loft will be “part social club, part tasting room, all vibes.”
Brooklyn Magazine has reached out for a comment from the Babel sisters but have yet to hear back.
Ode to Babel, which is Black-owned, has become a community hub and go-to spot for Black, brown and LGBTQ+ people in the surrounding neighborhoods. The spot plays frequent to host DJ nights, poetry readings and pop-ups. It is, as the name suggests, an ode to Black women specifically.
View this post on Instagram
For eight years, Ode to Babel has operated in a neighborhood that’s experiencing rapid gentrification. And, as a result, Ode to Babel has been no stranger to racial profiling. In 2018 the venue was targeted for seemingly arbitrary and overly aggressive city “MARCH” raids. In 2019, a woman who lived near the bar filed a complaint and called for fellow residents to protest the renewal of their liquor license. But Ode to Babel’s community rallied with support. By the time the liquor license review meeting took place, patrons had sent more than 180 letters to the board and a plethora of people were on standby, prepared to dispute any negative allegations.
“As a Black queer person, [Ode to Babel] is a safe place,” loyal patron Crystal Hudson told BuzzFeed News at the time. “To know that there are white neighbors who can feel like they can run this place out of business, I take that very personally.” (Since that article was written, Hudson has been elected to City Council, is a member of its progressive caucus and represents the district that Ode to Babel is in.)
As for what’s next, the Babel sisters have been relatively quiet about their intentions for Babel Loft, but expect that to change as the opening date inches closer.
You might also like
The Divine Delights of An Italian Holiday in Sicily