MTV recently hipped us to the new hep Brooklyn scene. That’s all cool, but we also remember being hepped to one a few years back when the sound was more Electroclash, the leg warmers more colorful, the Fischerspooner more Fischerspooner. It was a time before Luxx became Trash Bar and a lot of people were into Gang Of Four (or at least into sounding like them). On top of that, the cocaine flowed like a white, hyperactive river. Not to cop the faux old-timer tone of Vice’s excellent Please Kill Me-punning oral history of Kokie’s Place, but it’s hard not to get nostalgic about the strangeness of that period.

Last time you were in Williamsburg to check out MGMT did you stop at this bar called the Levee? Well, back in the day, nestled there on Berry and North 3rd, it was called Kokie’s Place and, much like it’s hilariously obvious name suggested, you could, in fact, order yourself a line or two. We don’t want to incriminate or condone or say drugs are cool, but some of us thought we knew the spot well. Shows what we know. Like, can we really directly blame Kokie’s for Electroclash? You be the judge…

Thanks For The Memories
[photo via Vice]

Quotes via Vice:

JEFF JENSEN: Kokie’s has a huge place in Brooklyn’s history. I would also like to submit that the genre of electroclash was officially started at Kokie’s. I can prove it because I was there. In the early days, there was a janitor who worked at Kokie’s who was from Saskatoon and claimed that he had seen Bigfoot. Me and Casey Spooner used to laugh like crazy over his Bigfoot stories. That’s what gave Casey the idea to start Sasquatch, his Bigfoot-themed band that eventually became Fischerspooner.

Hmm, pretty brutal to be remembered for either of those things. We thought we were supposed to blame Larry Tee? At least, that’s what we’ve been doing for years. Regardless, wonder how Kokie’s “no mustache” policy would fly in the current facial hairy Brooklyn. Blind item!

JERRY P: I remember they wouldn’t serve [singer of a then-popular band] because he had this big, goofy mustache and he looked like a policeman. He asked me if I would cop for him, and I said no. I didn’t want them to see me getting drugs for the guy they didn’t want to serve. I was like, “Sorry dude, serves you right for looking like that.

Like this? Oh, they did say “singer” though, didn’t they. Too bad Amy wasn’t there to partake while it lasted.

Comments (21)
  1. oh.  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    So catty, but why?

  2. karl  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    man, I remember I used to go to this really cool place called dave & busters. it was like way out of the way and no one knew about it. it was so crazy. me and hall and oats used to go there and drink apple martini’s and play air hockey. I remember one time they wouldn’t serve wham! because of their little shorts and then george michael tried to cop some chocolate covered coffee beans off me and I was like “no way man, I don’t want the bar tender seeing me hook up the guys with the little shorts. thats what you get for looking like that.” seriously chocolate covered coffee beans flowed like water at dave and busters back in the day.


  3. Ralf  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    oh self-reverent hipster brooklynites…

    I wish the Notorious BIG was still alive to rob these pricks

  4. Sero  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    What ever happened to Fischerspooner?

  5. Fischerspooner is performing Shakespeare.

    Also, right on Ralf.

  6. Rod  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    Where do you moron commenters live where you can talk so much shit on Brooklyn? Lawrence, Athens, Denton, Norman, Omaha… Duluth? That’s what Williamsburg is made up of, so shut the fuck up.

  7. Babette  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    Williamsburg is made up of moron commenters?

  8. dannygutters  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    so now we’ve got whimsy for the current decade?

  9. Ash  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    Drugs are cool! They make you look wicked and keep the pounds off! Plus they make you look wicked.

  10. Finn  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    Hey Ralf, if you knew anything about Brooklyn you’d know that a rapper from Bed Stuy wouldn’t be robbing a hipster from Williamsburg. You racist.

  11. Ralf  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    1. I live in Seattle right now. It’s pretty nice – although I don’t think I’ll be here forever; real estate is too high.

    2. How is what I said racist? The Notorious BIG does rap, quite frequently, about robbing people.

    3. And, theoretically, why wouldn’t he rob a hipster from Williamsburg? Is there some sort of city ordinance that restricts anyone with tight-pants from traveling outside of a certain delineated zone? And vice-versa?

    If there isn’t, I would like to propose one.

    4. Sorry to everyone else. I didn’t mean to turn this thread into a flame war. I failed to realized that my admittedly whiney/facetious/bitchy commments might cause distress to those of you with particularly fragile dispositions. I will make them no more.

    Have a pleasant day – wherever you are.

  12. Standard Response  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    Ralf needs to get off his racist horse and get back to serving frappacinos.

  13. Ralf  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    My horse is a racist?

  14. nathan  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    yeah, raif, you racist. don’t you realize coke is cool you racist? and brooklyn is a cool place where people from bed stuy never travel, you racist. it’s like suggesting an hasid would travel past 114th Street with his Torah. As if! i can’t stand these racists on the internet racistly racisting coke as some kind of hipster racist thing. everyone knows a black would only travel to williamsburg to steal from crack dealers. black people like crack, not coke. racist. i forgot my point. but i’m sure it had something to do with racists. and how coke is cool. and how it’s awesome when people who do coke call people racist. ’cause y’know, they’ve got the moral high ground and stuff. they’re also more attractive than you, raif, ’cause they keep the pounds off and they know better than to think a black man who could rap and had a background in crime would be caught dead in williamsburg. fucking racist.

  15. Professor PHD  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    it is true that drug dealers and or rappers from bordering brooklyn neighborhoods do in fact have “raiding parties” where they rape and pillage whiter communities. it is just like cowboys and indians. everybody in new york knows that.

  16. Professor, what’s another word for pirate’s treasure?

  17. snowman  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0


  18. pissymist  |   Posted on Jan 24th, 2008 0

    that’s what it is!

  19. anonymoose  |   Posted on Jan 25th, 2008 0

    i’m not going to lie. i was a frequent visitor of kokie’s. it was seedy and gross and in hindsight a stupid place for anyone to show their face. especially frequently and especially when you’re the famous SNL alum that i used to see there quite often.

    ps: ive always hated electroclash.

  20. sol  |   Posted on Jan 25th, 2008 0

    Hey now, Williamsburg is full of cool people doing cool stuff, wearing cool couture (meant to look like thrift store clothes) doing cool drugs going to see cool shows while scratching their cool overgrown beards. I think that pretty much sums it up.

  21. lu-lu  |   Posted on Jan 28th, 2008 0

    Kokie’s was ran by dirty cops who would steal the blow from other boroughs, and sell it – stepped on to death – to whitey’s in williamsburg. No matter how cool or edgy you felt you were back then, like every other part of williamsburg, all you were was a means for someone else to get money.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.

%s1 / %s2