Brooklyn Magazine: Remembering Lauterbach’s, a dive from Park Slope’s grimy past

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In the impish arc of history that’s seen the far reaches of Park Slope turn from desolate junkie haven to stroller central, it’s somehow fitting that the space once occupied by über dive bar Lauterbach’s is now the premises of a day care center.

The Original Rays, 1989

Despite being impossibly remote from Manhattan’s downtown scene (Maxwell’s in Hoboken was closer by half to CBGB), the ‘80s saw Lauterbach’s—a bare bones, below street-level saloon on Prospect Avenue—become home to a rowdy music scene known as Brooklyn Beat. Described at the time by music critic Jon Pareles as “noisy rock-and-roll that blares like a New York subway,” Brooklyn Beat peaked in the late ‘80s and featured such bands as Squirrels From Hell, The Original Rays, When People Were Shorter And Lived Near The Water and Chemical Wedding.

Mike West, an original Original Ray, is currently putting together a documentary about the Brooklyn Beat scene and this forgotten side of our borough’s musical heritage—and especially the dive bar that spawned it.

If you played at Lauterbach’s, drank there or have any related memorabilia, the filmmakers would love to hear from you. Contact them at

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Brooklyn Magazine