Last week, our attentions were drawn to a question on Facebook by a friend of a friend, a query that we BKTXers have regularly pondered ourselves. The question was this:
"Austin-NYC friends! I'm gonna throw this question out there but plz don't make fun of me... are there any dance clubs like Barbarella in BK?"
Barbarella is a majestic, myth-worthy dance club originally from Austin with an outpost in Houston. Named for the legendary Jane Fonda character, you're not going to find top 40 or nondescript techno. Barbarella is the best place to shake your booty: Footloose 80's Night is the best way to enjoy the Talking Heads and Blondie aside from dancing-alone-in-your-apartment-at-2am scenarios. Gritz n' Gravy (Soul, Rock n Roll, Motown) and SunGayz are not to be missed. It's rowdy, it's sweaty, and it's pretty much the opposite of any place Blaire Waldorf would have gone on a Saturday night. It doesn't matter how nerdy, how hipster, how glamorous, or how hardcore you are: everyone belongs and everyone has fun. Basically, imagine a place where you can freely attempt to match Michael Jackson's hip thrusts, David Byrne's knee swings, Morrissey's mime hands, or if you're lucky and show up on 90's night, any of these things are possible. It's truly the best, and nothing in Texas is quite like it.
That said, here's our recommendation of the dance places in Brooklyn that are remotely comparable to Barbarella. Don your pleather and venture forth.
Bossanova A Brooklyn classic.
Happy Fun Hideaway If the backyard drinking in this tiny Bushwick bar doesn't make you nostalgic for Texas, I don't know what will. Go one of the nights a DJ is playing!
The Spectrum reminds us of SunGayz.
The Pyramid *NOT BROOKLYN but still cool* We recommend Temptation Saturdays
Runner up: Tandem You can get your dance on here most nights, but it loses some edge because there's so much kale and quinoa on the menu.
Thanks to Jay Bradley Becton for contributing to research efforts, offering suggestions, bestowing advice, and giving us excuses to go dancing. All photos by Chris Blaski Photo for H-Town Emo Club.