Studio B is going for Plan B.
After a summer shutdown by the city, the beleaguered Banker Street nightclub is under new management — and the new owners say they want to turn the much-maligned disco into a nightlife destination without irking their Greenpoint neighbors.
Techno DJs and nightlife promoters Josh Houtkin and Dave Pianka took over as Studio B in January, months after the city revoked the club’s permits after discovering exits that would be unsafe in an emergency evacuation.
The summer shutdown came on the heels of a widely publicized campaign by neighbors to shut down the club, which they scorned as noisy, dirty, overcrowded and the host of illegal roof-deck parties and “Girls Gone Wild”-style nudity.
But the new managers are confident that they’ll be able to turn Studio B into a top-notch nightclub without waking their neighbors.
“We want things to be cool with our neighbors — that’s really important to us,” said Houtkin. “It’s going to take a lot to overcome the stigma that the club has, but we want the neighbors to feel good being around us, we want the club-goers to feel good coming here, and we want the bands to feel good playing here.”
The pair is already touting upcoming shows featuring German techno pioneer Ellen Allien and turntablist A-Trak. In April, Houtkin and Pianka plan to relaunch a roller skating party that once drew big audiences to the venue, which is between Calyer Street and Meserole Avenue.
To appease neighbors, the club has installed double doors to prevent noise from reaching the street. They have also tapped employees to sweep the sidewalk in front of the venue and answer the phone during the day to take complaints from neighbors.
And, most important, they promise not to use the controversial rooftop deck until they get proper certification from the Department of Buildings.
Since the flare-ups over the summer, Studio B has been quiet according to Greenpointer Glen Radecki.
“A lot of the problems we had with the previous ownership was that they were not doing the sort of things that every club everywhere else does — like having a smoking pen, keeping your doors shut so there’s no excess noise, and sweeping the sidewalk,” he said. “I just hope that they will be cautious with how they proceed.”