I was going about my internet business, searching for some upcoming shows when I noticed a listing for an unfamiliar venue, Friends and Lovers. The name sparked my curiosity and I discovered that this was a new music venue on the verge of opening in Crown Heights, a largely uncharted territory in the live music scene.
Eric Sosa, who is owner of management & development agency Monarch Artists, is behind the new location. Sosa, who honed his booking expertise at Galapagos Art Space (among other venues), lives in Crown Heights and always dreamed of opening up a bar with music. He felt his neighborhood was hugely lacking in live music options, and saw an opportunity.
“Crown heights is a growing neighborhood- constantly changing and very diverse, but you still have to go to Williamsburg, Park Slope, and Manhattan to listen to live music,” says Sosa. So he took matters into his own hands and started to plan for the space at 641 Classon Avenue with his friend Diana Mora.
With her background in creative strategy and marketing, Mora joined Sosa to work on the newest addition to a neighborhood that is just waiting to explode. Just a few blocks away, Brooklyn Flea is opening an artisanal food court, events and creative workspace at 1000 Dean Street, which will nurture the blossoming creative community in Crown Heights.
Owners Eric Sosa and Diana Mora
And what will make Friends and Lovers stand apart from other bar/venues? Just as their neighborhood is an inspiring melting pot, their musical lineups will reflect just the same.
“We will only book a certain caliber of music,” says Mora, “Eric is great at curating music- he has a beautiful ear.” Sosa adds, “The acts will be very eclectic genre-wise and will reflect our diverse tastes.”
Sosa says that the local music community is already reacting positively to the venue, with bands and artists recommending their talented friends that live and work in the neighborhood. The team is set to open doors on November 29 with a few weeks of shows booked, including My Midnight Heart, White Prism, SLV (to name a few) and a ‘Crown Heights Affair Sunday Dance Party,’ which Mora says will be very Latin infused “with a lot of congas!” They also add that they will be hosting community classes for children during the weekend daytimes.
And as the name of their venue suggests, Sosa and Mora want to create an intimate venue that they hope will become an important fabric in the Crown Heights community.
“We chose the name to capture the friendly and nurturing environment that was at the genesis of this concept. When we first started the project we had an overwhelming response from the community to help us,” says Mora. “We want people to connect to it on an emotional level.”
Throw in some good music, good company, good vibes and there’s no doubt that Friends and Lovers will help people do just that.Friends and Lovers
641 Classon Avenue