If you’ve seen a tuxedo-wearing rooster weather vane around the city, you’re not alone. He’s the mascot of a forthcoming Bushwick bar that has been teasing its opening by placing him in different spots around New York City.
Bunton’s World Famous, opening at 1005 Broadway in September, has placed the metal weather vane in neighborhoods from Harlem to Coney Island to Chinatown.
Once he reaches Bushwick on opening day, he’ll live on the building’s rooftop, according to owner Kareem Bunton.
The new bar and music venue already has its branding under control — Bunton is also curating merchandise that’ll be sold inside the venue, including a T-shirt with the dapper rooster and the bar’s logo, which is a Brooklyn Dodgers-like “B.”
“No one under 34 has been to CBGBs, but they all have a shirt,” he told amNewYork. “The cool part about it is that we’ll turn the brand over to other artists every three months. They’ll reinterpret the shirts, hats and tote bags.”
Local artists, big and small, will be considered as well as others from outside the city.
Bunton, who managed bars like Spoon, Bob, Pianos and Max Fish in the 1990s and 2000s, promises that the 1,000-square-foot bar with a large “jungle-y” garden will be a place for everybody to “lose their minds” on the dance floor.
Bunton’s already has a DJ lineup put together, including the likes of DJ Kaleem, Mikeflo from hip-hop duo Dead Prez, DJ Prolific and Kat Daddy Slim, he said.
With a few weeks left before its debut, Bunton said he is working overtime to make sure the venue’s “Memphis-Hollywood” vibe comes to fruition.
“I grew up in Louisville, which is known for gambling, horse racing and whiskey,” he said. “But I wanted something southern but not southern — a brand-new but beat up look — a sleazy southern vibe with classy feel.”
And while classic cocktails will be available, special drinks will be tropical and rum-based, like a “Jamaica vacation drink,” Bunton said. But don’t worry, you’ll still be able to just grab a beer.
“I don’t want to have a stuffy cocktail list,” he said. “I want to keep the price point down. I’d like to offer a $10 to $12 cocktail but also crack open a beer and lay a shot out at you and you’re on your way.”
Bunton said he was involved in “cocktail culture” for a couple of years and he doesn’t “enjoy the attitude.”
“I want you to get your drink quickly and have a smile on your face and share a joke with us,” he said. “I don’t want to lecture you on spirits.”
He plans to have $5 happy hour specials, too, because of his desire to include everyone, especially from the neighborhood, he said. It’s just about a five-minute walk from community favorites like Birdy’s and Lonewolf, he said.
Bushwick was perfect for the new space because it’s young, it’s growing and rents are still cheap, and it “still feels like how New York used to feel in the late 1980s and early 90s . . . for better or worse,” he said.
The venue will be “on the fancier side for Bushwick,” but he says he’s taking pains to make it welcoming to everyone.
“Why I fell in love with nightlife and stayed in New York City is because you couldn’t tell a gay bar, Asian, Dominican, stockbroker, hip-hop, fashion or music bar apart because everybody was hanging out,” he said. “Money wasn’t a factor and there was no class issue involved. Bars weren’t so compartmentalized 20 years ago. I want everybody up there dancing and losing their minds.”