Tandem Closes After Failure to Live Up to Its Williamsburg/Meatpacking Potential

October 21, 2015 4 890 Bars

The phrase “Another one bites the dust” is beginning to lose all meaning in this town as something that was once good seems to be closing every week now. This month, Tandem is next on the Bushwick reaper’s list of longstanding establishments to kill. The reason? An inability to choose between remaining true to its gritty roots and transcending fully into the type of Williamsburg/Meatpacking dance club with a line out the door thrust an identity crisis on the bar.

Witches (and Warlocks) of Bushwick were part of the clubby vibe overtaking Tandem's identity

Witches (and Warlocks) of Bushwick were part of the clubby vibe overtaking Tandem’s identity

One former regular there, Devon Hines, a 31-year-old who works at One World Trade, noted, “I kind of stopped going there around 2014. That’s when they were like serving bougier brunch and having more ‘exclusive events.’ Like who the fuck are the Witches and Warlocks of Bushwick–and what do they have to do with me?” Many have felt Hines’ confusion about the nature of the direction the bar has been taking.

The vibe at Tandem has been weird for a long time

The vibe at Tandem has been weird for a long time

And, of course, who could forget the very uncomfortable Mother’s Day brunch that took place there in the spring of 2014? The second white kids start bringing their parents somewhere, it’s game over for any business’ chic factor. It is thus with a heavy heart that Tandem owner Loren Givens, a 46-year-old who has plans to flee to Vermont, will shutter the establishment at the end of the month, just enough time for one last Halloween hurrah. In any case, the bar’s closure marks one of the last things in Bushwick that served as a remnant from a pre-2010 era.

Written by Genna Rivieccio


  1. Emily October 27, 2015 at 5:05 pm -

    I’m not sure if you are new to Bushwick or have simply never been to tandem but as a long time resident (over 7 years) and neighbor of tandem, I can assure you that almost every single thing you wrote was incorrect.
    Firstly, they are closing because the owner is having her third child and is choosing to raise a family over owning and managing a bar.
    Secondly, their brunch menu has remained EXACTLY the same since their kitchen opened many years ago.
    Thirdly, having a Mother’s Day brunch is great. iIf you live in Bushwick you should know the vast majoring are young twenty something whose parents visit during that time and it is nice to be able to take them somewhere special on that day…
    I could go on with how absurd not keeping up with Williamsburg is starting with Bushwick having the fastest growing real estate market of any neighborhood in al 5 boroughs but I have to get back to work.

    Do the Internet a favor and do your homework next time before misinforming all your readers.