Brooklyn Made is located at 428 Troutman St., Brooklyn, between St. Nicholas and Wyckoff Avenues. It lies in Bushwick, just blocks from the former Radio Bushwick. A new venue, it opened on September 30th, 2021, after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with two solo nights of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.
The outside has the entrance and box office, the latter of which is oddly in a tiny slipstream trailer, and separate from any line for security (so make sure to check in at the box office before waiting on line). The long entrance is painted in black and red, going past the single bathrooms, in the whole place’s very modernist design. It lets out at the back house-right of the stage, immediately next to a bar. Opposite the stage is a larger bar and back seating area, which are separated from the stage floor by walls and doors. There is also a balcony, that appears to be VIP only. There is prominent lighting, but it tends towards either the colored or flashing, and smoke machine as well.
Putting the stage on the long wall means that the whole stage floor crowd is close, but also quite tightly packed if anywhere near capacity. It is also quite hard to move from one side to another (let alone get a drink), particularly if you just entered in the back right corner or are trying to get to the bathrooms, having to angle past staff-only doors (that can still open right into your back) and the entrance to main back bar, and the visibility from there is marred by a low ceiling between the sets of doors. Meanwhile, the wall between the back bar and stage floor bar extends into the stage floor area, another obstacle to get around, curving oddly with angled portions that create slight ledges that are only barely large enough to rest your drink. There are also some pillars that create obstructed views (and gaps in the crowd behind them).
When it was announced that Brooklyn Made would be opening, hopes were raised that NYC live music was back after the COVID shutdown, and people naturally thought of previously the ‘new venue’ (and yet another one named after the very name-checked borough), Brooklyn Steel, which is also farther out on the L train and seems to book from the same indie strain. But that space is much bigger and better laid out (if much farther from the L, which is thankfully just a block away from Made), while small Brooklyn Made seems more like the tiny Lower East Side spaces of yore, albeit pushed upscale in terms of cost and setting – the beers on tap are so hipster that you’ve never heard of them, but there is a wide alcohol selection. While the layout issues may not matter for sedate or smaller shows, if an act with any serious draw plays there, you’re likely either squeezed or can’t see great. Still, hopefully there is a brighter future for Brooklyn Made.
428 Troutman St., Brooklyn, between St. Nicholas and Wyckoff Avenues
L train to Jefferson St. – walk 1 block southeast, cross Troutman & turn northeast
L train to DeKalb Av. – walk 5 block northwest, turn northeast
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