Southpaw, the well-known music venue on Fifth Avenue between St. Johns and Sterling, is in the final days of its ten-year lifespan. Love it or hate it, the venue was a cultural touchstone of the neighborhood in its early days, and at the very least has always been a great nightlife destination. The club's owners decided to pack it up, though, and after telling the Brooklyn Paper, “I’m kind of over Park Slope — it’s not a destination for nightlife anymore,” they sold the building and decided to focus on their other venues, including Public Assembly in Williamsburg.
"We had spent a lot of time looking for the perfect location in Park Slope, and this just fell into our lap; we weren't pursuing this space at all" Liza Zeneski, the Director of Special Events for NY Kids Club, which will be moving into the space, told me earlier today (she also lives in Park Slope). "The owners of Southpaw actually approached us."
This will be the eighth location of NY Kids Club (six are in Manhattan and one is in Brooklyn Heights), and it will also be the largest. "We will be taking over the whole building, and installing a playground on the roof," said Zeneski.
NY Kids Club isn't in fact a tutoring center, as previously reported. They're a "children enrichment" center, and cater to kids aged 2 months to 12 years. They offer a preschool alternative as well as after-school programs, both with a kid-to-adult ratio of 4/1. They offer a whole suite of services for kids, like gym, dance, martial arts, music, drama, and cooking, and they also rent out the space for birthday parties.
Construction in the space will begin as soon as Southpaw closes (which may be as soon as Monday), and they're planning on opening up on September 12th.