These are the things that come to mind when I hear the words “Bossa Nova”: easy-listening radio, people in those 90s stone-washed mom jeans, cheesy lounges. So when Bushwick’s Bossa Nova Civic Club opened in December of last year, I was expecting some retro Brazilian momjazz situation. Instead, I found a 1,900-square-foot club that throws rad parties featuring international DJs, charges no cover (hayo!), has amazing and breezy cocktails, and generally fosters a no-judgment atmosphere where anything can happen on the dance floor.
The place is decorated in tropical nostalgia: flashy mirrors, palm tree wallpaper, vigorous laser lights and disco balls create what promoter John Barclay calls a “tropical fantasy dance oasis.”
Barclay, who runs the Bossa Nova Civic Club, “wanted to [create a space that] juxtaposed the forces we felt were unrighteously dominating Brooklyn nightlife: Low-key, reclaimed wood, whiskey cocktail bars.” The spot used to be some sort of Mexican gambling hall, and some of these original details were left intact. “We don’t have a ‘theme’ per se, but we definitely have an aesthetic vibe that is hopefully similar to what radiated out of the smaller beach discotheques around the time Miami Sound Machine was peaking.”
The space is frequented by a lot of different Brooklyn sub-cultures: electronic music followers, seapunk enthusiasts, hip-latinos, fashion rebels, art students and everything in between. Barclay hopes that Bossa evenly balances all the longtime orthodox techno followers with the younger art school types that are pushing for a more conceptual – and, in his opinion, avant-garde – approach to the events held there.
The California native also expresses how “the music and the vibe and the fashion is excellent, and at the very least always interesting. I’d like to think that Bossa Nova is furthering/fostering that scene.”
Come visit Bossa Nova Civic Club at 1271 Myrtle Ave. Every Tuesday is ‘Ladies Night’ with a 2 for 1 drink special, and daily happy hours are from 5 p.m. ‘till 10 p.m.
I say salud to good music and a cool new spot.