The Knitting Factory – it’s one of the best venues the city has to offer, but if you say the name to many people, they’ll still think of the venue’s old location in Tribeca. However, there was another location that predated even the Tribeca spot; it started off as a cafe on East Houston in 1987 and played host to the likes of Sonic Youth, Gil Scott Heron and Yo La Tengo before moving to Tribeca in 1994. It has been at its current location at 361 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg since September 2009.
Your subway options are Bedford or Lorimer on the L (depending on what direction you’re coming from), it’s slightly closer to the Lorimer stop. You can also hop off at Metropolitan on the G or it’s a 10-minute walk from Marcy on the J/M.
- (The box office: original image here)
You can purchase tickets from the box office one hour before the doors open on show nights: more info and other FAQs here. The venue is comprised of two rooms that act separately from each other, the first room is a bar (drinks are $1 off before doors open for a show) with plenty of seating and booths. If you go from the bar to the showroom then you have to transfer your drink from a glass to a plastic cup. The line to get into the show starts outside the box office entrance to the building so if you are keen to get in to the performance space early then drink up and get in line (I know this is an alien concept to some New Yorkers).
The sound is often great and seems to be able to handle any type of music I have seen. The room is wider than it is long and capacity is around 300. The stage itself is 24-feet wide and about 3-and-a-half feet tall, so fits well with the dimensions of the room. You get a decent view wherever you are, although I always try to keep away from the bar to avoid people nattering (toilets are located to the left of the bar in the showroom or another set can be found in the hallway between the front bar and showroom.)
Speaking of the bar, it has a varied enough selection in beer and price. Although at the time of writing I’m still waiting for Brooklyn Lager’s Winter Ale to come into season, it’s the middle of November, damnit, and if I see you spending $7 on a can of Coors I will judge you!
Every Sunday, the Knitting Factory also hosts Hannibal Buress’ comedy night in the front bar. I haven’t been myself yet but I keep meaning to. I hear it’s great, and its featured surprise sets from the likes of Louis CK.
Nearby restaurants and bars include the previously mentioned Caracas, as well as St. Anselm, (some of the menu is pricey but the hanger steak is amazing and only $15) which is pretty much next door to the venue. Spuyten Duyvil has a great beer selection and really is next door to the Knitting Factory.
Keep an eye on our Knitting Factory listings HERE.
- Pop Zeus