Ten years ago Mikey Palms told us he was opening a bar in Park Slope in an old 99 Cent store with his childhood friend, Matt Roff. As soon as we saw it, we immediately knew we wanted to throw a party there. The Rub started the first summer Southpaw opened, and after an unprecedented run of over a hundred monthly parties, we are sad to report Southpaw is closing.
Simply stated there would be no Rub without Southpaw. Before Fifth Avenue had any sushi restaurants, yoga studios or boutiques, Mikey and Matt took a bet on the neighborhood. They helped us connect with a community of people who wanted to stay in the Slope and party with their friends to quality music. Southpaw was an oasis for Brooklynites who didn’t want to go to Manhattan and spend half a paycheck on bottle service while some asshole played The Strokes off an iPod. And they didn’t just invest in the neighborhood, they invested in three DJs who were dying to find a big room were we could play cool shit for a crowd who loved music as we did.
We were talking about it the other day, and Mikey put it in perspective when he said “remember, when we opened, you could still smoke in bars.” This was just six months after Bloomberg took office – before mash-ups, before 50 Cent, before Serato, before all-over print and skinny jeans, before any of us had gone on tour or released a record. If you were there in the beginning you remember Roger, and Uncle Moe, and Marissa, and Bill, and Alex (RIP). You remember when Mark Ronson Djed on Halloween in face paint, when Diplo and Low-Bee played in a blizzard, when DJ Premier dropped in for a surprise DJ set and when Dave Nada tore the room wide open with Baltimore club. You remember when a couple fucked the sink off the bathroom wall, when Pumpkinhead got in a fistfight at the end of the night and rolled around on the dancefloor, when the winner of the White Rapper Show threw up and passed out on stage, when we got shut down and had to move to Bar Reis because Southpaw didn’t have a license to serve lemons and limes, when Jeru the Damaja hopped on stage and performed “Come Clean.” There was a special feeling every month, like a big house party, loud and sweaty and thrilling. And in the last few years, you also remember waiting on a long ass line around the block. We could have moved The Rub to a bigger club plenty of times, but it was such a special feeling and a perfect crowd, and besides we were loyal to Mike and Matt.
This Saturday will be the last time The Rub is at Southpaw, but it’s not the last Rub. Mikey and Matt are going to focus on their Williamburg club, Public Assembly. Eleven, Cosmo and I are taking The Rub down the hill to Bell House, a beautiful venue very similar to Southpaw in a lot of ways, but a little bigger, with a little better sound, and a little off the beaten path. We looked at a bunch of clubs in Brooklyn and talked to a ton of our friends, and everyone agreed that this feels like the perfect room. The gang’s all going to be there, with Rahnon and Matt at the door, and me, Eleven and Cosmo on the turntables. We’re switching it up to the last Saturday of every month, and we hope you’ll help us spread the word so we can keep it up for ten more years. Please please please sign up for our email list, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and ask your friends to do the same. And if you don’t have anything else to do this Saturday, come to Southpaw (EARLY, to beat what will surely be a crazy line) and join us for the first Rub of the rest of your life!
More: 10 years of Rub Flyers!