New York Live Piano Bars: 10Best Music Bar Evaluations

“Play me a song, Mr. Piano Man,” Billy Joel croons in his aptly named hit, “Piano Man.”

Piano bars in New York run the gamut from all-out performances to quiet crooners sitting within the nook, however maybe theater historian John Kenrick stated it finest when he described the piano bar as a hybrid creature: “part performance space, part living room, part cruise-a-thon, and part saloon.”

However, that’s to not say that each one locations with a piano can classify as a piano bar. In a New York Times piece from 2010, Frank Bruni makes the excellence that there’s a big distinction between piano bars, and bars that occur to have a piano – primarily that to be able to be thought-about a piano bar, “the music and maybe the chance to sing it are more crucial to the establishment’s identity than anything the bartender concocts.”

We’d are likely to agree with Bruni on this entrance, although it have to be stated that music comes extra simply with a couple of martinis or a whiskey on the rocks beneath your belt. 

Below, we dive into the ten finest piano bars within the metropolis, from establishments like Don’t Tell Mama to fancy affairs like Bemelmans Bar within the Carlyle Hotel. 

Open one year a yr till 4 AM, The Duplex shouldn’t be your grandmother’s piano bar. Instead, colourful characters from New York and past present up for the chance to get in entrance of the gang for a efficiency. Drag queens mix-and-mingle with straight guys and gays alike, livening up the ambiance and including an additional sprint of playfulness to the vibe. Unlike different locations on this checklist, The Duplex helps a come-as-you-are, open-door coverage, so you will not have to fret about sporting your Sunday finest to get inside. Once there, strive your fingers on the keys or seize maintain of the mic — it is about to be a wild experience.

Recommended for Piano Bars as a result of: Because it is a rip-roaring good time that you simply will not quickly overlook.

Andrea’s professional tip: Bring no matter you are feeling to The Duplex and go away it on stage. This is a piano expertise that is excessive.

Read more about The Duplex →

Bemelmans Bar

Named after a well-known writer of kids’s literature, this piano bar within the Carlyle Hotel provides an opulent reprieve on the Upper East Side. The spot payments itself as a bit of “Old New York,” however the writer’s murals from tales just like the basic, “Madeline,” stability out the darkish, heavy wooden and ambiance. Piano jazz is performed right here nightly from 5:30 PM, and patrons embody everybody from mature neighbors to politicians and film stars. Art lovers can even respect that the large-scale murals within the lodge bar are the one surviving Bemelmans’ work that is nonetheless open to the general public. Indeed, this place ranks among the many metropolis’s basic piano bar joints the place you’ll be able to take pleasure in an excellent drink, terrific firm, and nice music in relative peace.

Recommended for Piano Bars as a result of: As far as piano bars go, there’s nowhere that does classiness fairly like this.

Andrea’s professional tip: After 9PM or 9:30PM, you may face a canopy – $25 per individual for a desk and $15 per individual on the bar.

Read more about Bemelmans Bar →

While the lodge will get a lot of the fame, we predict the artwork deco setting of the Waldorf-Astoria Cocktail Terrace deserves a bit of affection, too. Overlooking the foyer of the historic lodge, the glamorous terrace options velvet chairs for lounging and a completely stocked bar that caters to the elite. On Fridays and Saturdays, pianists sit right down to the entertain patrons on Cole Porter’s very personal grand piano, “High Society,” a present to the lodge from the legendary musician in 1939. Built by Steinway & Sons in Astoria, Queens, the piano is hand-carved with double Empire-style legs. If you are actually feeling the pull of historical past, order up the Cole-tini, the bar’s signature nod to Mr. Porter.

Recommended for Piano Bars as a result of: Because something to do with the Waldorf in NYC feels fancy.

Andrea’s professional tip: Go for afternoon tea when the gang is thinner.

Read more about Waldorf Cocktail Terrace →

Don’t Tell Mama takes the cake for a no-holds-barred piano bar expertise that may solely be described as eclectic. Segmented stay jazz, sing-along and cabaret rooms, comedy teams, musicals, and a wide range of different acts take the stage right here to indicate off their pipes and cajole the gang into collaborating. If you are on the lookout for easy jazz and a quiet night, maintain trying. Here, bartenders and servers aren’t afraid to bust out in tune, and plenty of have labored on the levels of Broadway and Off-Broadway. Along with musicality, Don’t Tell Mama rocks with laughter and dialog from a mixture of patrons who wouldn’t usually be seen hanging out collectively.

Recommended for Piano Bars as a result of: Don’t Tell Mama is an establishment within the New York piano bar scene.

Andrea’s professional tip: Go with associates, or alone. If you do not take them, you may make them.

Read more about Don’t Tell Mama →

Marie's Crisis

Marie's Crisis

Photo courtesy of Vanishing New York

Due to its proximity and a few of its clientele, Marie’s Crisis within the West Village is commonly billed as a homosexual piano bar, however this intimate dive welcomes these of all orientations and genders. The piano takes middle stage at Marie’s and until you arrive early, likelihood is it is standing room solely. No matter. You’ll be in your toes as quickly because the music begins anyway, singing on the prime of your lungs with a room filled with strangers. For this purpose, it is enjoyable to go together with associates, however acceptable to indicate up solo and make comrades with this non-judgmental crowd when you arrive.

Recommended for Piano Bars as a result of: Marie’s Crisis is likely to be the backdrop for the very best time you may have all yr.

Andrea’s professional tip: Marie’s is money solely, so plan forward. There are loads of ATMs close by and a Bank of America one block north on seventh Ave.

Read more about Marie’s Crisis →

Chez Josephine

Chez Josephine

Photo courtesy of Restaurants CT

Blue-tin ceilings and pink velvet partitions mingle with twinkling chandeliers at Chez Josephine, a piano bar and restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. Named in honor of Josephine Baker, a Parisian stage and movie star, an spy in WWII and Civil Rights activist, this French bistro opened in 1986, and has been wowing adventurers who step off of forty second Street ever since. Live piano leisure takes place nightly, along with Sunday brunch. Patrons say they really feel like they have been taken again in time to Paris within the Thirties, or as Chez Josephine prefers to calls it — “le Jazz Hot with soul.”

Recommended for Piano Bars as a result of: Because strolling into Chez Josephine makes you’re feeling such as you’ve left New York for Paris.

Andrea’s professional tip: Stop in for a pre-theater meal and a post-theater drink.

Read more about Chez Josephine →

Mezzrow Jazz Club

Mezzrow Jazz Club

Photo courtesy of Mezzrow

Billed as a “listening room,” you may wish to come to Mezzrow Jazz Club if you’re within the temper to be taken away by the music. Owned and operated by the cats who run Smalls Jazz Club subsequent door, this is not the place for dialog with a good friend. The membership kindly asks that speaking be stored to a naked minimal. They additionally ask you to decorate appropriately as reverence to a number of the world’s finest jazz pianists that grace the stage. The house itself is small, which accentuates an already intimate really feel, plus on Thursday by Sunday, the $20 ticket ($25 on weekends) buys you entry to Smalls. There are two nightly reveals: 7:30 PM and 9 PM, then 10:30 PM and 12 AM.

Recommended for Piano Bars as a result of: You can sit toe to toe with jazz greats for a $20 ticket.

Andrea’s professional tip: You’ll want to order your spot prematurely – examine the web site for accessible tickets. Students get in for $10 with a pupil ID.

Read more about Mezzrow Jazz Club →

Sid Gold's Request Room

Sid Gold's Request Room

Photo courtesy of Sid Gold’s Request Room

The music at Sid’s Gold leans extra towards the hits you’d hear on the radio – pop, rock and soul – than something you’d discover at a number of the quainter bars on this checklist. The joint’s divided into two sections: an old-timey marble bar up entrance and a high-energy, rowdy karaoke session by the velvet curtains round again. While the weekdays generally is a little sluggish, issues choose up on the weekends with packed homes, bachelorettes celebrating their final nights of singledom and neighborhood regulars vying for the mic. If you are seeking to degree up your karaoke singing with a stay piano, you’ve got met your match at Sid’s.

Recommended for Piano Bars as a result of: Because it is the place you must go if you wish to karaoke together with the keys.

Andrea’s professional tip: Make reservations or danger getting unnoticed.

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At first look, Little Branch does not appear to be a piano bar. In truth, it does not appear to be a lot in any respect. This teeny, slim house lives behind a discreet door within the Village �” usually the one clue that you have discovered the suitable place are the folks queuing up outdoors. Upon additional inspection, nevertheless, you may start to note the nuances: a well-worn piano stands guard within the nook and the social decencies of the previous are stringently enforced: no-nonsense or speaking loudly permitted. If you are permitted entry, you may probably discover a jazz trio manning the nook, and a smattering of suspender-wearing bartenders pouring up outdated classics.

Recommended for Piano Bars as a result of: Because you may really feel such as you’re in an underground speakeasy throughout Prohibition.

Andrea’s professional tip: Slip the bouncer a $20 on the door for straightforward entry.

Read more about Little Branch →

Brandy's Piano Bar

Brandy's Piano Bar

Fortunately for its boisterous patrons, Brandy’s Piano Bar on the Upper East Side stays open late. Hidden away on an unsuspecting road, this well-liked piano bar is one half sing-along, two components lounge, and all-around a good time. Upon arrival, count on to get pulled in by the employees to take part in a tune or 5, as Brandy’s is unquestionably not a spectator sport. Be conscious that not like others on this checklist, Brandy’s inflicts a two-drink minimal, per individual per set, so be ready to open a tab in the event you plan on staying. Happy hour begins at 4 PM, although music will not get going till 9:30.

Recommended for Piano Bars as a result of: Because it is unassuming, and then you definately step inside to a world of sound.

Andrea’s professional tip: Be ready to pony up on the bar for the suitable to a desk.

Read more about Brandy’s Piano Bar →

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