An iconic Brooklyn venue is ready to rise from the ashes.
Union Hall is putting on the final touches for its full reopening on Friday and supporters say they’re eager to get back on the bocce courts and lounge chairs that helped make it popular.
Jim Carden, the owner of the Park Slope joint, said he and his team wanted to get the location up and running as quickly as possible after a March 24 fire canceled weeks of shows.
“We just want people to feel like it’s a return to normal, a return to the way things were before,” he said,
With the exception of new furniture and a fresh coat of paint, Carden said Union Hall will look exactly the same as before. Opening day will include an extended happy hour, a performance by DJ Taela Naomi, and of course the venue’s famous midnight karaoke party in the basement.
Mark Caserta, the executive director of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, said Union Hall has led the way for other bars, music halls and night life spots in Park Slope since it opened in 2006. He expects there will be a large, emotional crowd on Friday.
“There was definitely an outpouring of sadness with the idea that they’d never come back,” he said.
The March fire was caused by a pipe in the chimney that malfunctioned, according to Carden. Although no one was hurt, he said the damage to the 5,000-square-foot space was pretty severe.
“They had to rebuild the beams and joist to the roof. We did lose a lot of furniture,” he said.
Carden said he is determined to keep the energy alive. In May, Union Hall opened its basement, which wasn’t affected by the fire and hosted live events while construction continued on the first floor.
The basement series was a big boost as major acts like Judd Apatow and Mike Birbiglia sold out quickly.
“It was nice. One of the biggest fears as a business owner is that you don’t want people to forget about you,” Carden said.
The owner said he is grateful for the community’s support and promised fans plenty of excitement this summer.
“We’ve heard a lot from people and customers and hope to get a good turnout on Friday,” he said.