Jeff Mann Overhead storage containers and the Five Leaves run Cafe at the new Rough Trade NYC Jeff Mann

Brooklyn Calling: London’s Rough Trade Opens in Williamsburg

North Brooklyn’s position as the center of the music world was reaffirmed Sunday with the official opening of Rough Trade NYC, the iconic British music company’s third record store.

Housed in a Broadway Stages-owned, former film prop warehouse on North 9th Street, the 15,000 square foot space, with its Rock ‘n’ Roll muraled walls, features scads of records and CDs, musical equipment, a café, bar, bookstore and an art exhibition. A performance space, holding around 250, complete with balcony seating, will showcase both local and established musicians.

Designed by New York City-based Cycle Architecture, Rough Trade NYC is a far cry from the Village’s Tower Records of the 1980s, its closest New York comparison. Visually, it’s “new-Brooklyn,” with exposed brick and beams. Storage containers and a rail enclosed catwalk hover above, providing distinct spaces for the store’s many offerings, which otherwise, could easily run together.

For the most part, those offerings are uniquely local, as well. Bowery Presents (Music Hall of Williamsburg) will curate the performances, which kick off on Friday, November 29th, with a sold out performance by Television. North Brooklyn stalwart, Main Drag Music will man a kiosk, selling locally made peddle mini synths and other equipment. And the café will be run by Greenpoint’s Five Leaves.

Upstairs, The Room houses a monthly exhibition, curated by Rough Trade, which provides record labels and book publishers the opportunity to tell a story and create an experience around a release. And the bookstore offers an eclectic mix, from Neil Young’s autobiography to the dark comedy, “All My Friends are Dead,” by Avery Monsen and Jory John.

According to co-owner Stephen Godfroy, the build-out is far from done. “It’s just a starting point,” he said. “There’s lots of construction still underway, lots of product to put out in the racks. It will take many weeks for us to be up to speed.”

Rough Trade NYC is open from Monday to Saturday, 9:00AM – 11:00PM and Sundays from 10:00AM – 9:00PM. A complete listing of upcoming Rough Trade NYC performances is available at

Rough Trade NYC
64 North 9th Street


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