Black Women-Owned Membership Space ‘Babel Loft’ Leans On Community Support To Make Lasting Impact In NYC
Marva and Myriam Babel are the co-owners of a brand new multi-concept space in Brooklyn called Babel Loft, which hopes to be a place with a little something for everyone. And with a $810 membership fee, the Babel sisters are betting on community support to sustain their undertaking, The New York Times reports.
Babel Loft, which the sisters say is backed almost entirely by Black investors, is the second venture from the pair who closed their cocktail bar—regular Black and LGBTQ hangout Ode To Babel—earlier this year.
For the Babel sisters, the new space is all about catering to the various needs and desires of the “creative professional,” the outlet reports. From a central area that can serve as a co-working space by day and a dance bar by night to a designated party room called the “B-side,” Babel Loft is the physical manifestation of the idea that Black people are not one-dimensional.
“Every place will be intentional, and that’s a work in progress,” Mariam Babel said. “That’s actually the beauty and fun of it.”
Membership to the space, which is expected to become more expensive by month’s end, includes first-in-line event access, co-working opportunities, as well as priority reservations to culinary experiences at Babel Loft. The Babel sisters have faith that the patrons who regularly supported their former free-entry offering will invest in an annual membership.
“The confidence came from really knowing who our community is,” Marva Babel said. “Knowing that our community will want to hold space for each other, for themselves.”
Black business owners have found a renewed sense of collective responsibility and support in rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn since 2020.
“More people are also just understanding the importance of us making those strategic decisions to spend our dollars in our community and to do that as often as possible,” said Babel Loft investor Cheraé Robinson. “We’re going beyond, ‘I want a Black doctor, I want a Black dentist.’ Now, ‘I want a Black acupuncturist, I want to go to a Black wine shop, I want to go to a Black-owned yoga studio.’”
The Babel sisters, who have big plans to eventually create a travel hub with connections to the motherland, have already seen a spike in memberships from 30 to 150 following a preview of the space in September, the outlet reports.