We talked to Todd Patrick, owner of the Market Hotel in Bushwick, about the rock club’s future.
Market Hotel, the beloved indie music venue on the edge of the Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods in Brooklyn, closed in 2010 after police raided the building during a concert and found the DIY venue was selling alcohol without a license. It has taken owner Todd Patrick and other organizers behind the storied concert hall more than six years to officially reopen—and the wait still isn’t completely over. Over the summer of this year, Market Hotel started hosting shows, applying for a temporary liquor license each time (these special event licenses only lasted one day). But in October, the cops came a’knocking on their door again, and said the venue did not have a permit to store the alcohol. (The police tweeted photos of beers sitting on the floor, warning “Can anyone say fermentation—follow the rules or you’ll lose the booze.”)
The back-and-forth interactions with the authorities that Market Hotel has experienced threaten to criminalize the work it and other DIY venues do and the value they deliver to their communities: supporting local talent, giving folks a safe space to come together, being the location of a teenager’s first concert (and thus introducing him or her to the world of live music). Patrick told TrackRecord he hopes Market Hotel can be that place for newcomers and old rockers alike.
When it officially reopens, that is. But that day may finally be coming: Market Hotel is now waiting for receive their full liquor license, and while no official reopening date is set, they’re planning for early next year, according to manager Carlos Salas. In the meantime, the hub puts on other programming for the community (sans bar), like a vegan market or interactive art installations. “We aren’t technically closed,” says Salas. “We are just dormant.” Hopefully not for much longer.