Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia, a new music venue, will open in Fishtown in November
The 1,000-person capacity venue will open its Philly location in partnership with Live Nation, near the Fillmore and Punchline Comedy Club.
Brooklyn Bowl is coming to Fishtown.
The 1,000-capacity music venue, which is also a bowling alley and restaurant, will open as Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia, its fourth location, on Nov. 4.
The club that specializes in jam bands — with hip-hop, rock, soul, and country mixed in — will open with a Thursday-to-Saturday stand by Soulive, the Woodstock, N.Y. soul-jazz trio. In what is a tradition with Brooklyn Bowl openings, the band will call themselves Bowlive for the occasion and be joined by a special guest, Meters bassist George Porter Jr.
Each of the three nights on opening weekend will feature a late show with a DJ. On Thursday, it’s Roots drummer Questlove presenting his Bowl Train: Hometown Philly Edition, followed by DJ Logic on Friday and DJ JerrBrother, spinning all Jerry Garcia music on Saturday.
The venue is a partnership between Brooklyn Bowl and concert promoter Live Nation. The first Brooklyn Bowl opened in 2009 in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, and founders Peter Shapiro and Charley Ryan, , have since opened shops in Las Vegas and Nashville, teaming with Live Nation in those two cities. In Fishtown, they’re opening at 1009 Canal St. in a 38,000-square-foot building that has housed the Revolutions bowling alley since 2016.
Noteworthy acts scheduled for Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia include Fela Kuti-focused Afrobeat band Antibalas on Nov. 11; avant-rock trio The Slip on Nov. 16-17; conscious rapper Talib Kweli with a full band on Nov. 27; and 1980s rapper Rakim — performing as The God MC Rakim — on Dec. 11.
Choice bookings in 2022 include country-soul singer Yola on Feb.15; hip-hop bluegrass band Gangstagrass on Feb. 17; Bhangra band Red Baraat’s Festival of Colors on March 10; a New Orleans double bill with Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas on March 23; and Boston funk band Lettuce on April 1-2.
In keeping with the policy at all Live Nation-operated venues that goes into effect Oct. 4, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for entry. The venue will follow the city of Philadelphia’s safety guidelines, which mandates mask wearing at indoor events. Protocol details can be found at brooklynbowl.com/philadelphia.
Brooklyn Bowl increases Live Nation’s growing Fishtown imprint. The new venue “completes a full-campus entertainment district in Fishtown,” said Live Nation regional president Geoff Gordon.
If counting both the 2,500-capacity main room at the Fillmore Philadelphia and the more intimate 450-capacity club Foundry at the Fillmore, as well as the 320-capacity comedy club Punch Line Philly, that makes four Live Nation venues within shouting distance of one another.
Not far away across Girard Avenue in the same nightlife neighborhood are independent venues Johnny Brenda’s and Kung Fu Necktie, both of which have reopened for business in recent weeks.
The Theater of Living Arts, which is operated by Live Nation, also has a capacity of 1,000, but the South Street club targets a younger crowd with acts like Willow Smith, who appears in her new guise as a punk rocker on Oct. 12.
Brooklyn Bowl is more likely to compete for shows with slightly smaller venues, like the 650-capacity Music Hall at World Cafe Live and City Winery Philadelphia, which holds 350 for seated shows. But the venue whose booking policy the new Fishtown club has the most in common with is Ardmore Music Hall, the 600-capacity Main Line venue where Grateful Dead tribute band Splintered Sunlight are playing Oct. 16, before taking the stage at the new Fishtown club on Dec. 17. Prog-fusion band Tauk, who come to Brooklyn Bowl on March 4, played a show at AMH in August.
Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia will have 24 bowling lanes and a Southern ribs-and-fried chicken theme, plus vegetarian and vegan options from New York Blue Ribbon restaurant group. Music and meatless option synergy is present on the Brooklyn venue’s menu, which include Joe Russo’s Almost Burger, named after the drummer and bandleader’s group Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, a frequent performer at the venue.
The venue will be booked out of Brooklyn Bowl’s New York headquarters in conjunction with Live Nation’s Philadelphia office in Bala Cynwyd. “Given everything we all have been through over the last couple years” venue cofounder Shapiro said in a statement, “now is definitely the right time for Philly and Brooklyn to come together as one family.”
Tickets for the initial series of 30 shows go on sale Friday Sept. 24 at noon at brooklynbowl.com/philadelphia, where a complete list of performers is available.