The Living Room will be closing at the end of December. The club opened at its current Williamsburg location just a bit more than a year ago. The Living Room first opened on the Lower East Side on the corner of Allen and Stanton Streets in 1998, moved to a bigger location on Ludlow and Stanton Streets in 2003, where it remained until late 2013.
The following statement was posted on the club’s Facebook page late yesterday afternoon from Jennifer Gilson and Steve Rosenthal, the club’s owners:
I have sad news. The Living Room is closing at the end of December.
It seems like we just opened a minute ago.
Thanks so much to all the great bands that played here and gave us many memorable nights.
There’s still time for you to stop by and see a show in this gorgeous room and visit our always awesome staff.
We wish you all the best and I hope our paths cross again!
Please keep supporting live music at your local venues.
Jennifer & Steve
While I don’t know the exact reasons that precipitated The Living Room‘s closing now, there are certainly a number of factors that seem to have played a part in it:
The continued implosion of Williamsburg as a music center. Since The Living Room came to Williamsburg, a number of clubs have shut their doors. These include Spike Hill, The Trash Bar, Death By Audio, Glasslands, Public Assembly and just a few weeks ago, Cameo Gallery.
The Living Room never ramped up to a full evening of music. Back on the Lower East Side, the club booked a band an hour from 7pm through midnight (sometimes more, sometimes less) seven nights a week. In the current location, there were usually one or two bands a night, and not every night at that.
The front bar did not seem to be a draw. Back on Ludlow Street, bar in the front of The Living Room did a brisk business no matter who was playing in the music room. The business at the front bar in the club’s current incarnation was always sparse when I was there.
The audience wasn’t there. It may be that the bands booked into The Living Room did not draw the locals, who were a different mix than the folks who frequented the club while it was on the Lower East Side. In addition, the Lower East Side crowd might not have been drawn to the new location in Williamsburg.
Steve Rosenthal’s other business. Steve also owned The Magic Shop, a recording studio in Soho. According to The New York Times, that other business currently has issues which may force it to close. While it has never been clear to me what, if any relationship existed between The Magic Shop and The Living Room, having two businesses under stress might have a impact on this closing.