New York City, NY

Why Piano Bars are the Hottest NYC Clubs of the Moment

Genius Turner

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Dizzy Gillespie performing in NYC, in 1947, during the heyday of piano bars.William Gottlieb/Public Domain Media

The resurgence of piano bars briefly returns NYC to the ‘Golden Age of Nightlife’

New York City — Piano bars are having a moment. ...

In an age where DJs in popular bars keep an eye on tunes topping iTunes' popular bar, the mere mention of piano and bar in the same sentence is music to my ears. And to the ears of other New Yorkers too. Apparently!

“The city is experiencing a golden age of nightlife and everything that’s old becomes new again,” said Jason Kaplan, a hospitality vet and owner of JK Consulting. “There’s plenty of bars that have entertainment, but now there’s a trend toward a more upscale piano bar experience with modern touches.” 

From the moment Steve Jobs strolled on stage and announced he's putting "1,000 songs in your pocket,” perhaps he also put piano bars on life support.

Yet because the more things change, the more things stay the same ... the resurgence of piano bars feels like taking a stroll down memory lane.

Topping my list of reasons for hoping piano bars ride this hot streak through the summer is a selfish one. After all, as an extroverted introvert, not to mention being a writer, I find few activities as tedious as being dragged to a birthday party. In a noisy New York City bar, at that.

At piano bars, ahem, we — the eccentrics of the world — can continue quietly drinking in some corner and texting how this party's boring, yet at least we can hear ourselves think. And who knows, such thinking may inspire creativity amid hearing soothing piano keys in the background.

In short, from Melody’s Piano Bar to The Nines, piano bars are NYC's hot spots of the moment — offering us a glimpse of the "Golden Age of Nightlife."

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