Crain’s New York Business is reporting that the landlord of 184-186 Bedford Avenue, the building that houses music venue Spike Hill has been placed on the market. The asking price for the building is $19.5 million. It seems that anyone paying anything even close to that price is not likely to keep things just like they are now. I would not be at all surprised if Spike Hill does not make it out of 2015 at its current location.
With all of the club closings Now I’ve Heard Everything has reported on over the past few years, I thought it would be worthwhile to look at whether or not New York City is in the midst of a venue crisis. I’ve listed the music venues that I cover that have opened or closed since December 20, 2009 (the day Now I’ve Heard Everything went live). The results are interesting:
|92Y Tribeca||Bar Chord|
|Banjo Jim’s||Beast of Bourbon|
|Bar 4||Dinosaur BBQ|
|Ding Dong Lounge||Friends and Lovers|
|Lakeside Lounge||Hill Country Brooklyn|
|Living Room||Rockwood Stage 2 & 3|
|Local 269||Rough Trade|
|National Underground||Skinny Dennis|
|Sullivan Hall||The Rock Shop|
|Sycamore||The Way Station|
|Two Boots Brooklyn||Treehouse at 2A|
I count 15 closings which were offset by 15 openings. Most of the closings, 11, were in Manhattan, and the majority of the new venues, 10, are in Brooklyn. I suspect that there are fewer slots for musicians to play now than in the past, but I’m not sure what the actual drop off is. This table does not cover New Jersey, so the closing of Maxwell’s in Hoboken and the opening of Monty Hall in Jersey City are not included. Two venues, Sycamore and ZirZamin both opened and closed over the period in review (Sycamore is still in business, it does not have music anymore).
In all, I think there is a venue migration and a bit of a contraction. But I don’t think that live music in New York City is poised at the abyss at this time.