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Goodbye, Goodbye Blue Monday?

The view from the stage at Goodbye Blue Monday
The view from the stage at Goodbye Blue Monday
Courtesy of Goodbye Blue Monday

Goodbye Blue Monday, a Bushwick center of Brooklyn's underground music scene, is on the verge of closing. The bar has reached out to patrons and its extensive list of past performers to crowdfund $7000 to help pay for back fines owed to the city. While the bar has raised over half of its target through crowdfunding site GoFundMe and an upcoming benefit show, other financial obstacles, including a rumored doubling of the rent, threaten to close the bar for good.

In spite of hard financial times, Goodbye Blue Monday has, for almost a decade, provided local and national touring acts with a place to play - refusing to charge a cover and even offering to buy band merchandise from acts that need a little help. The appreciation of performers, in return, is palpable. A walk through the bar reveals years of stickers and other band merchandise, lovingly placed along the walls and on the curios that occupy the bar's stage and passageways.

The bar is also host to an open-mic, (formerly called the 'Tuesday Teacup' and now 'The Way Ya Like') often touted by locals as one of the best open mics in New York City. The open-mic's current host, Joe Crow Ryan, announced the financial troubles on stage during the weekly open mic, eliciting audible gasps from the performers and audience members.

That depth of feeling was echoed by Goodbye Blue Monday's owner, who remarked, "I love the place... it's still my kid in my heart."

The woes of Goodbye Blue Monday are evidence of a larger trend for music businesses serving local musicians in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In October of 2013, the Back Fence in Greenwich Village closed after 68 years in business, due to a pending increase in rent. That same month, the Living Room in the Lower East Side closed due to financial difficulties (though a re-opening is planned for Williamsburg). In April of 2013, record store Bleecker Bob's (also in Greenwich Village) closed its doors after the building was sold to a frozen yogurt establishment. In August, Bar 4 in Park Slope closed due to "financial realities".

Whether Goodbye Blue Monday ends up joining that trend remains to be seen.

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