RIP Public Assembly, Welcome Black Bear Bar (And Its On-Tap Old Fashioneds)

02/06/2014 1:25 PM |


  • Photo via Public Assembly/NYC Go

Apparently this had been brewing for a while (they don’t seem to have posted anything on social media since back in July, and their website has been shut down entirely), but it still comes as a bit of a surprise: Williamsburg venue Public Assembly has closed its doors, and has already been replaced by a new spot, Black Bear Bar.


The venue had closed the front room over the summer for renovations, and then when the work was done, never seemed to fully open back up. The management hasn’t made any statement about the closing, but the venue’s booker Duncan Rich is now working with the team at Brooklyn Night Bazaar.

A major loss, but the good news in all this? The new place actually might be pretty good, as it’s run by Jessica Lee Wertz, who’s also behind No Name Bar and Lone Wolf. Black Bear Bar has an intentionally spare internet presence, but Free Williamsburg dug up a post from Oak with some promising details:

“The bar also draws in passersby visually with a showroom-esque entry way that features three motorcycles, brightly put on display. In the back, the space is dimly lit and features a wrap-around bar, pool table, and lends itself perfectly to both an after-work drink and a late night drop in. While the staff is happy to make you just about any drink you’d like, OAK recommends Black Bear’s on-tap Old Fashioned.”

If there’s any appropriate way to toast to the loss of Public Assembly (or to anything, really), an “on-tap Old Fashioned” would be it.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.