Cute café? Bad bar? ... Cute barista!
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Venue review: New; just opened last fall. Basement dance club on Bleecker Street in the Village on the former site of the legendary Village Gate jazz club. Has arty pretensions (see its web site), and books some pretty unusual acts, but physically just your basic club. Newly remodeled, however--everything fresh, lots of squeaky clean bathrooms, etc. Big dark space with a long bar on one wall and the stage at right angles to it. It's supposed to hold 200 seated or 800 standing. On Friday it was set up to seat 100+ in tables by the stage and a few more on high bar tables by the back wall (which the patrons immediately moved up just behind the stage-side tables), leaving lots of standing room, which filled up. There was also a small VIP box in the back, open to anyone when I was there Friday. Seating for Vienna's show was open, and most of the crowd (of about 400+ I would guess) had to stand, so if this is a typical setup at this club, IF YOU WANT TO SIT, GET THERE EARLY, as we did. Sight lines might have been problematic if you were in the standing area, on account of some columns, but were great from up close. Sound system was so-so. Overall volume and mixing were ok, but the system was boomy and distorted enough to induce ear fatigue over the course of a long show. This could have been a function of location; I sat very close, and near the drums. We had will-call tickets. The procedure for that was to line up on the sidewalk and then get checked off on a list when they let you in. I don't know what you do if you have physical tickets, or even if they sell them; they were not an option when I bought mine on line. Tix were cheap ($18 ), but there was a 2-item (food or drink) minimum, and of course food & drink had NYC prices ($7-$8 import beers, about $15 mixed drinks, ridiculously expensive all-French wine list). Food was small plates/appetizers. Many, especially the cheap ones, were silly attempts at whimsy (tater tots--who ordered those?), but more typical ones such as a quesadilla were good but pretty small and ran about $15. Staff were very pleasant, and table service (for the lucky few) was remarkably efficient considering I only saw one server. Watch the bill--a gratuity is ALREADY INCLUDED. There's also a small bar off the main hall where you wait after you get in until the hall is ready (our show was right after happy hour in the main hall). Outside of shows, the club is a regular DJ/dance club, but I don't know anything about that. Presumably the same menus, food/drink prices, etc., apply. All in all, a good place to see a show, but show up early for a good seat.
Last edited by Fred on Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fred wrote:Venue review: New; just opened last fall. Basement dance club on Bleecker Street in the Village on the former site of the legendary Village Gate jazz club.
Holy smokes, this is The Village Gate site? Man, if those walls could talk! Can you imagine the music made inside those four walls over the years? I just hope the owners appreciate their new digs.
I caught Kenny Burrell at the VG back in '79. What a time that was ...
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