Brooklyn Club Rash Makes a Comeback

Brooklyn Club Rash Makes a Comeback

Mar 28, 2024

Rash, Brooklyn’s long-missed queer hotspot, is finally set to re-open after arson left the bar destroyed and the community robbed of a watering hole.

Jen Sillen and Claire Bendiner, who run Rash, tell PAPER that they’re set to re-open in April. They tell us: “We want our dancefloor to be the place where up-and-coming DJs are given the opportunity to prove themselves with extended three-hour-plus sets.” Likewise, Rash’s team notes that their aim this year is to uplift and engage with “hyper-online music scenes that blossomed during the pandemic,” the efforts of which will include “a mix series, club-recorded sets, Patreon and a Discord.”

Lineups for April, which will run in the back of the month between April 17 and April 28, include: Angel Emoji, Cedric Madden, DJ Chaotic Ugly, Chickenmilk dot com, Chuki, DJ Shshunj, DJ Sour, DJ Swisha, DJ Thank You, DJ Trick, Eera, Elena Fortune, Estoc, Europa, Evilgiane, Gamma, Instupendo, Lulu.wav, Memphy, Milkfish, Pictureplane, Ren G, Sevyn 0000, Surf Gang DJs, SCRAAATCH, Tiam, umru, Yay Spray and ZutZut.

For context: Rash had been open a mere five months when, in April 2022, a man upended a canister of gasoline into the bar and set the place on fire. At the time, Bendiner toldNBC New York: "Everyone rushed out. The side door has a glass front and I looked over and saw flames to the top of ceiling. It was crazy, it happened so fast." The arsonist was arrested shortly after. Soon after, they launched a GoFundMe to help raise funds in the aftermath.

The fundraiser raised $125,000 of its $200,000 goal. They likewise launched a merch line to help with the effort. In 2023, Rash also curated a series of TSQ Live sets in Times Square alongside other DJ collectives and nightlife fixtures.

In a previous Instagram post announcing their return, Sillen and Bendiner told the community: “We’ve missed you all so much and we can’t wait for you to see what we’ve done with the place,” thanking the “incredible community, staff, contractors, city officials and so many more” who helped revitalize the bar after the arson.

In the press release, Rash’s team thanks Ashley Systems for the bar’s new sound system and Top Hat Construction, which helped with the rebuild and its staff. “Our new space looks even better than it did before — we took what we learned from our first run and applied it to this new ‘Rash 2.0’ over the last two years.”

Photography: Evan Eisel
Poster Design: umru Rothenberg, Jacob Nelson, Jen Sillen