Posted in music | tour dates | venues on May 13, 2009

"After 10 years, Williamsburg Live-Music Haven and Mediterranean Eatery Shuts Doors"

Black Betty (spreetaper)
Black Betty

"Bud Schmeling and Sandy Glover, owners of Black Betty, announced the long-time Williamsburg boite and eatery will close its doors, effectively Monday, June 15th 2009."
The sad news came a month after the owners posted a message to MySpace stating that they needed money, but that "Black Betty is not closed, nor closing. We have signed a new 10 year lease..." According to the new statement (which you can read in full below), the lease "was renewed for 10 years at the end of April 2009, however the lease was also offered to other perspective candidates under more lucrative terms..." Long story short, it is closing.

Lots of changes on that block. Black Betty is right across the street from the in-development Knitting Factory Brooklyn (ex-Luna Lounge) (which we still don't have an official update on, though all signs and rumors point to the place re-opening some time this summer, possibly as a seated venue).

Say goodbye to Black Betty by having a drink and/or seeing a show there one more time (or for your first time). Options include The Phenomenal Handclap Band, who played Southpaw last night, and who are playing there tonight (May 13). Full schedule, including Antibalas, and full goodbye note, below...

Black Betty

- Bud Schmeling and Sandy Glover, owners of Black Betty, announced the long-time Williamsburg boite and eatery will close its doors, effectively Monday, June 15th 2009.

According to Schmeling and Glover, the Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn, NY lease was renewed for 10 years at the end of April 2009, however the lease was also offered to other perspective candidates under more lucrative terms. At the end of the battle, Schmeling and Glover conceded and agreed to close by mid June. "We are saddened and heart-broken that this is the end of the Black Betty era," said Glover. "But at this time we're focusing on what a fantastic place Betty means to Brooklyn bands, DJs and of course all of our amazing patrons and friends" she added.

"We're working really hard to make the next couple of months loaded with great music and entertainment," says Schmeling. "May 7th will mark a true celebration of 10 years dedicated to Williamsburg with a tribute to our House DJs and honestly, the outreach from the community has really been incredible."

Local bands, DJs and performers are lining up to fill the remaining nightly slots, with Rev. Vince Anderson and His Love Choir scheduled to perform the last night, Monday June 15th. The kitchen and bar, offering North African and Mediterranean dishes and extended happy hours, will be in full swing until close. Demand for Black Betty t-shirts have been pouring in and will be available for sale at the 10th Anniversary Party on May 7th.


ABOUT BLACK BETTY/ Since its spring opening in 1999, Black Betty has gained a reputation as a "pioneer" and "Superman of Williamsburg nightlife." Founders Bud Schmeling and Sandy Glover compiled their world travel experiences to transform the once gangster clad Highway Lounge into a hipster sanctuary and Moroccan delight, fondly referred to as "Trashablanca." A true urban oasis, Black Betty beckons Williamsburg locals and tourists alike who crave an array of delectable Mid-Eastern eats, and an eclectic mix of live performers. Nightly live music and DJ spin masters serve up everything from Brazilian rock to soul funk, playing second only to the eclectic Mediterranean/ North African fare.

BLACK BETTY / 366 Metropolitan Avenue/ Williamsburg, Brooklyn/ 718.599.0243/ Train: L to Lorimer/ G to Metropolitan/
www.blackbetty.net
http://www.myspace.com/theblackbetty
FINAL SCHEDULE

LIVE MUSIC" Wed. May 13th THE PHENOMENAL HANDCLAP 10:00p.m.

"Sheri Barclay Presents Saturday Night Tuesdays" Tues. May 19th Geezer On Diesel with Wolf and Tuba

"LIVE MUSIC" Wed. May 20th THE PERFECT MAN 10:00p.m.

"The Green House" Fri. May 22nd DJ MonkOne spins with the legendary G-MAN the MC serving up some of the finest in soul, salsa, R&B, disco, deep pop, reggae and afrobeat. 10:00p.m. - 4:00a.m. No cover.

"Make Love Not War" May 23rd DJ Emskee and the legendary G-MAN the MC present a night of dance featuring classic hip hop, soul funk, 80's rock/dance, house, disco, and reggae. 10:00p.m. - 4:00a.m. No cover. www.myspace.com/makeloveinbrooklyn www.myspace.com/djemskee

"Brazilian Beat Brooklyn" Sun. May 24th DJs Sean Marquand and Greg Caz bring forth Brooklyn's longest running samba shake down with 60s and 70s Brazilian beats.10:00p.m. - 4:00a.m. No cover. www.brazilianbeatbrooklyn.com

"Rev. Vince Anderson and his Love Choir" Mon. May 25th Dirty gospel? You bet, when Rev. Vince's in charge! With solo musical appearances from the Roots and TV On The Radio, Rev. Vince delivers the best music in Brooklyn every Monday night. 10:30p.m. No cover. www.reverendvince.com

"Sheri Barclay Presents Saturday Night Tuesdays" Tues. May 26th Lady Magma

"LIVE MUSIC" Wed. June 3rd Multi ethnic, metal afro-funk group ANTIBALAS 10:00p.m.

"Sheri Barclay Presents Saturday Night Tuesdays" Tues. June 2nd COLOR WAR

"Sheri Barclay Presents Saturday Night Tuesdays" Tues. June 9th THE VITAMEN

"LIVE MUSIC" Wed. June 10th Acoustic heart-throb Jonas Smith 10:00p.m.

These performers and more, all leading to our final evening MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2009 with Rev. Vince Anderson & His Love Choir

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Comments (55)

Does anyone know whatever happened with their ASCAP lawsuit? Never heard anything about this after it was announced that ASCAP was suing them.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 1:50 PM

This is so sad. Black Betty is such a great spot.

Posted by lepeople | May 13, 2009 1:56 PM

since when is 10 years "long-time"

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 1:59 PM

i hooked up with a girl there once. my cohorts snorted coke and birthday cake ended up on the shirts of all those present. thanks for the memory

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 2:02 PM

this is sad-making news.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 2:03 PM

2:02. hahaha. that was me. aw, the memories.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 2:06 PM

It was only a matter of time. Welcome to the "new" Williasmburg! They've got to erase any remnant of the good times that were had in that neighborhood. Only rich corporate fucks belong in Williamsburg anymore.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 2:10 PM

1:59 10 years in nyc is a eternity,
Think about the way williamsburg looked evan 5 years ago.

Posted by mike flodd | May 13, 2009 2:12 PM

Great, diverse restaurant and free venue. It's hard to find that kind of vibe in New York these days.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 2:14 PM

"Only rich corporate fucks belong in Williamsburg anymore."

Aside from the Subway that opened on Bedford a few years ago, what in the hell are you talking about? Yes, the neighborhood is getting more expensive. "Corporate" though? I give Williamsburg kudos for perhaps being one of the only hip neighborhoods left in the United States that doesn't have a Starbucks on every corner.

Yeah, so there's a McDonalds by the JMZ and a White Castle near the Graham stop...but that's it...and both of those were there before W'burg became the place to be. "Corporate"? Ninja, please.

Stop being so shrill and knee jerky. It makes it impossible to take your point of view seriously.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 2:18 PM

Reverend Vince Anderson is the shit!

Posted by Jus Sayin' | May 13, 2009 2:23 PM

where's the CHANGE Obama?

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 2:33 PM

2:18-- look at the latest generation of gentrifiers moving in -- yuppie families and yr former jock ad execs. etc. the old demographic who would have moved to williamsburg 5-10 years ago are now in bushwick. and half the new businesses may still be mom and pop but look at the prices and who they are trying to attract-- def not the working non-commercial artist. Also look at the amount of and who the real estate developers are--pretty damn cooperate.

Posted by burger | May 13, 2009 2:34 PM

The new owners are by no means yuppies or corporate. I expect greatness to come from what they make this place.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 2:43 PM

^^ hello to the "anonymous" new owner of that spot!

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 2:49 PM

2:34 - People like you didn't complain about "gentrification" when YOU were the ones doing it...when YOU moved into the neighborhood, opened your fancy coffee shops & bars, jacked up the rents, and forced the Brazilian and Polish families out of the neighborhood. So why the hell should anyone feel sorry for you now that you're the ones being pushed out of the neighborhood?

Wah. Cry me a river.

Posted by 11211 old timer | May 13, 2009 2:55 PM

"the working non-commercial artist"

read: "the unemployed tool from the midwest"

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 3:15 PM

11211old timer-I wasnt complaining just saying what happened nor did I ask for sympathy, yeah I'm biased because I am mostly broke from buying that gourmet coffee. why are you getting so personal? I actually do feel bad for the people who got pushed out before the first wave of gentrification. maybe you should get on the WAHbulance to the hospital if you're so hurt.

Posted by burger | May 13, 2009 3:16 PM

"Reverend Vince Anderson is the shit!"

Just wanted to repeat this.

"Reverend Vince Anderson is the shit!"

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 3:21 PM

This sucks. I love that spot. Def have to get back in there for one more go. RIP BB!

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 3:25 PM

no one got pushed out on the 1st wave of gentrification. It was a case of people doing innoviative things with buildings that sat vacant for decades. The neighborhood was full of junkies, hookers and crime. The 1st wave cleaned up the neighborhood and made it a place where people wanted to live. Maybe the rents went up a little and squeezed out some of the poorest residents, but that's what happens when a neighborhood becomes livable. Especially when it is a stones throw from the largest metropolitan area in the world.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 3:27 PM

Go look around the ENTIRE WORLD and you'll see gentrification in one form or another. It's just what happens. There were people living in what we call Williamsburg before the Poles, the Jews, the Dominicans, The Puerto Ricans and so forth. They are gone now and so will be the current residents in time. Not everyone that has moved to the neighborhood is a midwest hipster. Most of them are hard working folks looking for a more engaging lifestyle (who the hell wants to stay in some suburban hell hole?), better job opportunities and to follow dreams. Find me a neighborhood that doesn't fit this bill somehow. If you choose to make Williamsburg, or even New York, your home for the rest of your life, prepare yourself for change. It's what happens here.

Oh, and sucks about Black Betty, but 10 years is a good run.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 3:45 PM

people throw around the word "gentrification" to make themselves sound smart.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 3:53 PM

"no one got pushed out on the 1st wave of gentrification"

I sincerely hope that you're being sarcastic. Because if you're not, then that's one of the dumbest comments I've ever read on this blog...which is saying a lot.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 3:56 PM

A few rules to learn and live by:

1) anyone who complains about "gentrification" are themselves a gentrifier.

2) anyone who complains about hipsters are themselves a hipster.

3) anyone who talks about "the good old days" of Williamsburg moved here in 2006 or later.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 4:08 PM

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 4:10 PM

mid-west hipsters are the worst. they have the coolest hair.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 4:32 PM

the guy with the weird "mid-west" hate fixation is the worst. yr late for your train to new canaan, dipshit

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 4:36 PM

B was probably considered an evil gentrifier in the neighborhood in 1999. Now it's an old standby that we can't do without. Just goes to show, what comes around goes around. Or something like that.

WHERE OBAMA AT!

Posted by Regular reader | May 13, 2009 4:38 PM

things change. this place had a good run

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 4:45 PM

YYY is playing the final night.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 4:47 PM

I never really like the food there, to be honest.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 4:58 PM

WilliamsMEH

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 5:18 PM

see what happens when you paint over 50s-era vintage flagstone???

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 5:29 PM

coked up disco fucks took that place over

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 5:30 PM

""no one got pushed out on the 1st wave of gentrification"

I sincerely hope that you're being sarcastic. Because if you're not, then that's one of the dumbest comments I've ever read on this blog...which is saying a lot."

Yes, the only people that got "pushed out" were junkies and hookers. Williamsburg was a wasteland in the 80's and early 90's. Nothing good about it whatsoever.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 5:50 PM

hyperbole always makes for a credible argument. or not.

Posted by sarcasm | May 13, 2009 6:15 PM

I have to say, I've seen people complaining here before about these wretched Midwesterners (tools) coming to your precious city. I'm from MN, and don't even live in NY anymore, and couldn't be more annoyed with this. To you who seem to disregard anyone not from the east coast, I ask you, where did YOU come from and where did you get that permission slip to enter the city that myself and the rest of us "wannabes" clearly neglected to obtain?

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 6:40 PM

ANON 4:08PM

"3) anyone who talks about "the good old days" of Williamsburg moved here in 2006 or later."
----------------------

Utterly false. 'The good old days' to me means Williamsburg before 95% of the people posting here knew it even existed. The Williamsburg of the late early to late 90's. The Williamsburg Brooklyn I grew up in and have many great memories of. I am completely qualified to talk about and complain about anything Williamsburg and it's gentrification because I witnessed Williamsburg changed into the NEW Williamsburg that it has been for almost 15 years now. My family and I were hardly 'gentrifiers' because the neighborhood was still the shithole it had been when my mother and father moved in and when I grew up there. The two apartments we moved into were empty because many people didn't WANT to live there anymore, as opposed to many people being BOUGHT out. BIG fucking difference.

And there's no doubt about gentrification being a worldwide occurrence.
But the only remote problem I have with this particular case is that it became such an unnecessarily big deal and became this parody show town in the process. Most gentrified neighborhoods are the concern of the neighborhood itself and it's residents, old and new, and it hardly ever leaves the neighborhood. In other words, when Sunset Park is gentrified, the people that know about it are mainly people that lived and people that moved into Sunset Park. No one else cares.
But Williamsburg became this famous hotspot of a town and it just taints the whole idea of what it eventually became. It makes it equivalent to the National Inquirer of gentrified towns.
It sounds silly, and I generally harbor any kind of dislike for the people that eventually moved in and changed the neighborhood without even knowing it.
But the whole situation became larger than it should have, or even needed to get. And the people that moved in unfortunately became an integral part of that nonsense, whether they wanted to or not.

btw, number 1 and 2 are also complete bullshit and shit logic. not to mention false.

Posted by born and raised | May 13, 2009 7:43 PM

^
typical gentrifying hipster post-2006 response.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 7:57 PM

^
beautiful asshole response.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 8:28 PM

Who cares? If someone wants to move into a neighborhood and is able to pay the rent, who is anyone to tell them they aren't allowed to? Where do we draw the line? How are we going to define our bigotry and what we decide is acceptable?

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 8:30 PM

it's simple, really.

when white people do it to brown people, it's called "revitalization" and it's considered to be a good thing.

when rich white people do it to slightly less rich white people, it's called "gentrification" and it's suddenly a bad thing.

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 9:12 PM

blogs killed Williamsburg

Posted by Anonymous | May 13, 2009 11:05 PM

I used to go to Black Betty every sunday (Brazilian Beat), and it's impossible to describe how many good nights i had and friends i made there. Today i have a bar in Brazil and i was inspired by Black Betty's atmosphere. It's so sad to know that my next visit to New York i'm not gonna be able to go to my favorite place in town.
Thanx Bud and Sandy for the 10 years.

Posted by Noemi Sant'ana | May 14, 2009 9:41 AM

"it's simple, really.

when white people do it to brown people, it's called "revitalization" and it's considered to be a good thing.

when rich white people do it to slightly less rich white people, it's called "gentrification" and it's suddenly a bad thing."

^yes.

Posted by Anonymous | May 14, 2009 9:49 AM

"it's simple, really.

when white people do it to brown people, it's called "revitalization" and it's considered to be a good thing.

when rich white people do it to slightly less rich white people, it's called "gentrification" and it's suddenly a bad thing."

^yes.
------------------------

"brown people"?? are you fucking kidding me?
get the fuck out of here with your sugarcoated racism.

Posted by Anonymous | May 14, 2009 11:10 AM

what is it called when animal collective does it to brown people?

Posted by Anonymous | May 14, 2009 12:33 PM

I've never been to Black Betty but I'd love to hit the Antibalas show. Is there a link to buy tickets? I can't find anything on their website or through Google.

Posted by Anonymous | May 14, 2009 1:02 PM

yes, 11:10, "brown people". And if you weren't such a knee-jerk, elitist, liberal arts, privileged caucasian douchnozzle from the suburbs you would've realized that what I was doing was mocking ACTUAL racists with that comment...like the ones who were claiming that Williamsburg was nothing but poor people, prostitutes & junkies before the hipsters showed up.

So get off your shrill, high & mighty holier-than-thou horse. People like you are so PC that you have no sense of humor and no sense of actual right & wrong because you get bogged down in the semantics without addressing the actual issues.

Stop reading Dailykos and start thinking for yourself. Either that or move to Cambridge or Northampton Massachusetts with all of the other goody two shoes white folk.

Posted by 9:12pm | May 14, 2009 1:14 PM

^^
Just for the record, Cambridge isn't all Harvard and MIT. It's got real neighborhoods with many different races and levels of income.

Posted by Anonymous | May 14, 2009 1:40 PM

You know I have lived here for 12 years on and off. yes the deveopment of this area sucks! Wyy? because its poorly planned poorly designed and its not about the residents its about the developers dreaming of a place where they can draw all the booring rich and upwardly mobile folk to live and make those deep developer pockets full. This was a working class hood. Artists and the like help to revitalize this hood in a great way. Bloomberg and his buddies saw it as a goldmine and marketing opportunity. You see urban planning should consider the people who paid the taxes and made the hood what it is in the first fucking place not just come in bulldoze and make way for a monoculture of people who make over 200 grand a year. PS the reason the economy is in the shitter is the over inflated housing market world wide. If you allow land holders and developers to envision a world where all real housing is worth half a million and up then that is an evil fantasy that destroys communities and the economy in one fell swoop. Its called regulation kids and if our mayor beilved in urban planning and not just making his developer buddies bigger billionaires then things would look very different!

Posted by marcessa | May 17, 2009 1:41 PM

i'm so sad black betty is closing..one of my fave spots to dance. does anyone know if it will be open this friday night? i didnt see that on the schedule...

Posted by Alexis | June 11, 2009 10:41 AM

First Stain Bar Now This WTF?

Posted by SIGH | June 18, 2009 2:59 PM

I had one of the best nights of my life in Black Betty, very sad to know that I return to NY, I won't be able to go back

Posted by Anna | December 12, 2009 5:28 PM

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