If you’re looking for a Latino spot that is off the beaten path, then Public Assembly is a must. Formerly known as Galapagos, this Brooklyn club doesn’t blare out bachata or salsa. Instead, what Public Assembly offers are underground Latino artists and bands.
On a recent night, I caught “Rebel Ship,” a Latin Funk rock band. They performed with crazy high energy and passion and the crowd responded with that same vibe.
I talked to Jean Shepard, the lead band member of Rebel Ship, for a few minutes after his show. “I’ve been coming here a few years,” he said. “The bands bring their crowd, but it has to do a lot with the genre of music — it’s a rock crowd [at Public Assembly].”
Marc Batista, 41, a Boricua living in Williamsburg for the last 10 years, is a regular at Public Assembly, where he has also performed. Batista said “the unique space, cool crowd, nice neighborhood,” draw him to the location, which is in a dimly lit warehouse. “It’s hip and reminds me of the old crowds back in the days in the East Village.”
Another plus: With a long bar at one side of the huge room, partygoers are able to grab una fria from $5 to $6 and enjoy the shows from there.
Public Assembly isn’t the kind of place that I usually look for. This outing was a new experience for me and to my relief, I had a great time.
So instead of wearing your sky-high stilettos this weekend, throw on some leather platform boots and get out of your comfort zone at Public Assembly.