Tower Records Quietly Reemerges as ‘Tower Labs’

Tower Records is now Tower Labs

Photo Credit: Nicolas Marchildon / CC by 2.0

After Tower Records’ bankruptcy 16 years ago, the company quietly reemerges in Williamsburg as ‘Tower Labs’ — a new lounge space for performers to socialize in collaboration with other local venues.

Once known for its album release parties for artists like Elton John and Dave Grohl, Tower Records had yet to have a physical store location since the company went bankrupt 16 years ago. The new Williamsburg, Brooklyn iteration, called Tower Labs, intends to work with other venues in the area to create “an intimate space with a lounge-inspired feel” for performers to socialize before and after shows.

“The intention is for artists and bands to host personal gatherings with their community, similar to a backstage experience,” says the Tower Labs website. “Tower Labs brings new energy to Brooklyn with monthly drops of limited edition Vinyl LPs and merch collaborations with artists and brands.”

“In an increasingly digital world, it is imperative for artists to have a physical space where they can connect and create,” says Tower Records’ president, Danny Zeijdel.

After the music retailer shut its doors in 2006, Tower Records first relaunched in 2020 as an online store. In 2015, Colin Hanks released a documentary chronicling Tower Records’ cultural impact and mourning its closure, featuring Elton John and Dave Grohl. For Grohl, the connection to Tower Records is personal; he worked at the Washington, DC, location in the early 90s.

The “warmly lit” wood-paneled space was designed by creative director Rebecca Zeijdel-Paz and architect Louis Rambert. Rambert is known for his work on the Lower East Side shop Beverly’s NYC. 

Patrons will have the opportunity to pick up limited-edition vinyl records and merch from a window on Kent Avenue, The New York Times describes. Small events will be held on a stage with speakers custom-made by New York DJ Booker Mitchell.