“The cover, when there is one, is usually gentle and the drinks are less pricey than the decor might indicate.”
“flawless design distinguishes this bar from its Williamsburg competitors.”
“wouldn't know how it was because I never got in, due to the extremely rude, macho bouncer who was working the door the night we went.”
“My friend had been tipping a dollar per two-beer order on account of the bad attitude (which, I should add, started before any tipping opportunities even arose).”
The performance and visual arts gallery/bar has been reopened as a new spot called Public Assembly..
One must walk a metal grating over a reflecting pool, moodily lit with floating and wall candles, just to get inside. Its exposed beams and grids running along the top of the warmly lit interior subtly evoke the environment's found, industrial beauty in a spontaneous way. Beyond the moat-like entrance, the bar maintains a welcoming vibe.
Galapagos has successfully established itself as a Williamsburg cultural center, hosting plays, bands, DJs and cabaret acts in addition to its now-famous Sunday night movie series, Ocularis. The space also features a gallery of paintings and installations by neighborhood artists.
I thought It was my bIrthday????. I went there for my birthday a girl that knows my friend said that it was a happening spot and that we were on the guest list. Well it turns out that it was a seprate party for a friend of a friend, we waited to get in for about 20 min and we had to pay to get in. I thought it would have been FREE!! since we were on the guest list. Then there was a "RUDE" bouncer outside talking really loud! on his cell phone like he wanted everyone to hear his conversation. Boring!!!! Anyway when we got in there was a painter on stage painting and that was cool; there was only one bartender and he was paying no mind to the side I was on, so then I moved to see if He would see me but not even a what can I get ya? this girl suddenly came and asked if I wanted a Drink? After a half hour passed by. Then there was a shortage of liquor COME ON!!!! WHAT CLUB HAS NO LIQUOR???? unless you are not into Art do not go to this place. They also had body painting (cool) but the service was extremley poor!
I won't miss this bar after it relocates. When I went, the bouncer seemed to be actively searching for a fight. "Hey, are you looking at my truck?" he demanded with suitable machismo, abandoning his post at the door as he noticed us looking at the "Court Officer" ID in his windshield. There wasn't anything suspicious about what we were doing; we just happened to be looking at his car while having cigarettes. He also would periodically patrol the bar with a confrontational look on his face.
To make things worse, the hipster bartender acted annoyed every time we ordered anything. As the Bud Light ran out, she handed my friend a 3/4-full beer and said, "This is all I have." My friend responded by asking if there'd be a discount. She said, "No, you haven't been tipping me well."
My friend had been tipping a dollar per two-beer order on account of the bad attitude (which, I should add, started before any tipping opportunities even arose). Really, how much effort does it take to pour a Bud Light? And how much does it take to force a smile on occasion? Granted, no one wants to be distracted from the laborious task of looking bookish and aloof, but when you have a service job and your income is based on your performance, a good rule of thumb is to at least try to be nice to your clients.
bouncer pockets money at a charity event.
I wouldn't know how it was because I never got in, due to the extremely rude, macho bouncer who was working the door the night we went. It was a tribute to Jay Dilla, the producer who died a year ago. It was also a charity event excepting donations for the Lupus foundation...There were about 50 people waiting to get in, all happy to make a generous donation while the bouncer made NO effort to control the crowd (instead he just shut the door in our faces. The only people he let in were V.I.P's (for a charity event, that's absurd) who were ALL men, while the ladies were refused. The place wasn't even crowded inside, and people were leaving.
Then we watched one crowd member offer him $100 to get in, which he tried to talk up to $200, and finally pocketed the $100 and let the guy and his 2 friends in. I'd like to know if the Lupus foundation is getting that money!! What a terrible face to put on a supposedly conscious brooklyn performance space.
It Was Fantastic... Beyond Belief.
Galapagos has just announced that it's moving to DUMBO. I have great faith in its director, Robert Elmes, and am sure that it will continue to be an important venue for the arts. That said, a magical chapter in New York's cultural history is drawing to a close. GO THERE WHILE YOU STILL CAN!
Here's my original review (Note: The chips are long gone):
If not for this place, I'd still live in Noho.
Galapagos is my corner watering hole, one of my favorite performance spaces and a large part of the reason I moved to The Burg. It wasn't until I did a play at Galapagos and saw some other shows there that I thought, "You know, I could live here."
The shows are eclectic and interesting, ranging from puppetry to burlesque to film to the all-singing, all-dancing Love Show. I once saw Whitney Bienniallist Julie Atlas Muz lip-synching to "Breakin' the Law", with the other lips.
The servers are complete sweethearts. The owner clearly loves his job. While the space is highly, yet minimally, designed, the vibe is laid-back. The cover, when there is one, is usually gentle and the drinks are less pricey than the decor might indicate. While the only chow they serve is chips (Cape Cod, I think), they've never seemed to mind when I've brought in takeout.
No 'tude for us.... Unlike the other reviewers, we got none of the bad attitude, and the place was pretty open (on a summer Saturday night) in terms of being crowded. The DJ was spinning a cool mix of music, and the beers were cheap by comparison to Manhattan prices. It's certainly worth checking out.
pretty to look at. a multi-faceted venue with an obscenely dramatic entrance and beautiful bar. it's a pity that no one thought to add good traffic control to get to the backroom, where you'll find film, theater and parties hosted by the members of the literati.
That hipster attitude x 10. What is it w/ twenty-something, too hip for their own good transplants from undesireable locales in the Midwest in Williamsburgh? Whatever it is, it reeks of snobbery not fit for the likes of the Upper East Side. I think I might be treated better if wearing my pyjamas at Le Cirque. Snobbery, I might add w/ no service. I can almost tolerate someone being a jerk if I get a drink in reasonable and fair fashion, but...this was ridiculous. Ugh! When my friends and I complained, the doorman recommended that we write a comment on their web site. Conveniently, the comment link was down...hmmm... On the upswing...the space is truly remarkable. I imagine, if you don't mind being treated like dog doo, it could be a fun place to see a show. It's cheap and there is able parking and good access to public transportation (the L train).
awesome digs and music. Always a great crowd - sometimes a few stress reliefs: friendly fat cats, great drinks and great tunes to relax to.
Reflects Well. A flawless design distinguishes this bar from its Williamsburg competitors. It's more than a couple of blocks walk from the Bedford Station on the L line but on a cool summer evening, why complain. From the ink-black water in the reflecting pool at the entrance to the glowing votive candles that scale the exposed brick walls, the folks behind Galapagos have a delicate but assured touch. Friendly bartenders. A socialable crowd. Not content with being a cool bar (where I'm surprised how often I bump into people I know--and I don't live in this part of Brooklyn), Galapagos has also emerged as one of the more percolating spaces for performance. Trapeze acts, short plays, new music. In some ways, Galapagos is Brooklyn's low-key answer to Joe's Pub.