“Tight Knit Family”
But in Williamsburg, the Knitting Factory was a mainstay of the city’s comedy and music scenes, itself a souvenir capsule for the staff who ran it, as well as the artists and regulars who frequented it for more than a decade. .
“For it to close, it feels like a chapter in my life has come to an end, which is kind of sad,” Jane August said, fighting back tears on her last night as a bartender in Brooklyn. “I will no longer be able to see everyone every week. I cry, I am a crying person. We’ve all been in other people’s lives, because that’s exactly what a place is and that’s how tight-knit our Knit family is.
After having their IDs checked at the door, patrons walked through a hallway lined with old band posters leading to two separate spaces. The largest was a 300-capacity concert space in the back, where local and smaller touring bands performed throughout the week. This is also where the last encore took place.
“I always appreciated how intimate the space was, because it wasn’t that big, but that last show at Knitting Factory was powerful,” said Haile Supreme, a musician who has frequented the venue and snagged. is produced on this last night. “The energy in the room was magnificent. The crowd was really ready to engage.
Standing room only
Music has been Knitting Factory’s specialty since the beginning. But, in Brooklyn, that wasn’t the only draw.
At the bar at the front of the venue, the weekly stand-up show, “Comedy at the Knitting Factory,” took the stage just outside the door. It wasn’t an ideal setup, but it was still a favorite for comics like Jon Laster, who starred in the series’ final run in July.
“When I got there, before I got on stage, I thought it was awful. I was like, ‘Why would he do anything with people coming in and out the door right next to the stage?’ “Laster told Gothamist. “And then once you got on stage, you were like, ‘Oh my God, these people are locked up.'”
Buress started the show in 2009 when the venue was new to Brooklyn. He was also the first person to perform on location. He quickly became a staple of the New York comedy scene, known for his diverse, cutting-edge, and up-and-coming comic lineup mingled with industry veterans.
“For me in particular, it was really cool to see a lot of young black comedians killing it,” comedian Will Miles, one of the hosts who took over the show after Buress, told Gothamist. “It was great to have this little haven where, if you’re an up-and-coming young black comedian, you knew you’d see other up-and-coming black young comedians there.”
Fans filled the hall every Sunday. A lucky few were seated in one of three rows of folding chairs or in booths at the back of the room. But most would hold out for the two-hour show.
“I would never get here in time to get a seat, so I would normally stand by the bar,” said Gregory Greene, a former regular who made it to the final show. “And I saw a lot of people. I saw big names. I saw Dimitri Martin. I was here when Robin Williams arrived.