Union Hall

In March ’17, Union Hall suffered a fire that closed the venue, but the downstairs venue portion reopened on May 15th.  The renovated upstairs will reopen on July 21st....

Great Lake Swimmers

In March ’17, Union Hall suffered a fire that closed the venue, but the downstairs venue portion reopened on May 15th.  The renovated upstairs will reopen on July 21st.

Union Hall is located on 702 Union Street at Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn’s Park Slope.  It lays only four blocks south from the former Southpaw, and four blocks southeast of the new Littlefield.  It opened in the summer of 2006.  It also lays seven blocks north of sister venue Bell House, which opened in September 2008 and is managed by Union Hall.

The ground floor of Union Hall is either a library study converted into a bar or the other way around; books line one of the long walls, and the front area has the kind of sumptuous, over-stuffed chairs you’d find in a staid law firm.  The back half of the upstairs is more traditional in terms of (not that much) seating, but instead, there’s two bocce ball courts laid out in the center (that shuffleboard-meets-bowling game seen played by old continental European stereotypes).

The actual venue is downstairs, and can be a bit hard to find, as the stairs are all the way at the other end of the upstairs bar; doubly hard to find when the bar is cramped on weekend nights.  There’s a small middle hallway at the bottom of the stairs, made smaller by the usual merchandise table; at one end is the co-ed, stalls-only bathroom, and the other, the stage floor.  In keeping with the ‘grandparent’s place’ feel of the upstairs, the stage and stage floor are in what effectively looks like an old person’s basement, with out-of-fashion wallpaper, old-style portraits, and a display case of things found on a hunting trip in the 1930’s.  The ceiling is low, and there are a few quite obstructive pillars on the house-left; there is a bar at the back end of the small stage floor, near the door.  The stage itself is only slightly elevated above the audience floor; the floor swings to the house-left of the stage, then up along the side; band equipment is usually stored there.

Union Hall more resembles the low-end venues in the Bowery like the Cake Shop – small, lesser facilities, low price, cheap drinks, etc.  Generally, the acts occupy the lower end of the touring spectrum, but still somewhat higher than those of equivalent size venues in the Bowery; there’s less competition in Brooklyn, and it can serve as a second, Brooklyn stop on any band’s tour.  There’s also a bit of an ‘classy artsy’ feel to the place, lending itself to solo singer/songwriters or art community-supported events.  It’s a bit of a trek if you don’t live in the area – either you take a slow local train to within a block, or you take a faster express and end up ten-to-twelve blocks away.  The price of admission is a few bucks more than the usual Bowery haunts, more Mercury Lounge than Cake Shop, but the drinks aren’t, and it’s certainly a place you can get up close and personal with the band.

Capacity: 100



702 Union Street at Fifth Avenue

By Subway:

D, N & R trains to Union Street – walk one block east
B & Q trains to 7th Avenue (Brighton) – walk two blocks west on Park Place, five blocks south on 5th Ave, turn left on Union Street
2, 3 & 4 trains to Bergen Street – walk one block west on Bergen Street, eight blocks south on 5th Ave, turn left on Union Street
B, Q, 2, 3, 4 & 5 trains to Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street – walk eleven blocks south on 5th Ave, turn left on Union Street
D, F, G, N & R trains to 4th Avenue/9th Street – walk twelve blocks north on 4th Avenue, turn right on Union Street, one block east


QRO Coverage:

-Young Heel, March 29th, 2012 – photos

-Robbers On High Street, March 3rd, 2012 – photos

-Jenny Wilson, July 13th, 2010 – photos

-Thieving Irons, June 17th, 2010 – photos

-Ra Ra Riot, Plants & Animals, April 13th, 2010 – Ra Ra Riot photos, Plants & Animals photos

-Bad Veins, with Division Day, September 19th, 2009 – Division Day live review, Bad Veins photos, Division Day photos

-Princeton, with Phil & The Osophers and Ice Palace, September 9th, 2009 – Princeton live review, Princeton photos, Phil & The Osophers photos, Ice Palace photos

-The Most Serene Republic, June 27th, 2009 – photos

-The Loom, with Cotton Jones & Wild Moccasins, June 20th, 2009 – Wild Moccasins live review, The Loom photos, Cotton Jones photos, Wild Moccasins photos

-Steve Schiff & The Land of No, with Family Time & Hospitality, February 24h, 2009 – Steve Schiff & The Land of No photos, Family Time photos, Hospitality photos

-Colourmusic, with Hockey, January 21st, 2009 – Colourmusic live review, Colourmusic photos, Hockey photos

-Great Lake Swimmers, with Jennifer O’Connor, September 28th, 2008 – Great Lake Swimmers photos, Jennifer O’Connor photos

-Earlimart, July 31st, 2008 – live review, photos

-Bound Stems, with Rahim and Muggabears, July 22nd, 2008 – Bound Stems photos, Rahim photos, Muggabears photos

-Cloud Cult, with The Forms and Arms, April 17th, 2008 – The Forms live review, Cloud Cult photos, The Forms photos, Arms photos

-Bon Savants, January 26th, 2008 – live review, photos

-Cedars, March 30th, 2007 – live review, photos

-+/-, with Say Hi To Your Mom, March 29th, 2007 – Say Hi To Your Mom live review, +/- photos, Say Hi To Your Mom photos

Bon Savants

Click here for the venue’s website

Venue Reviews

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