NYU likes to constantly remind its current and prospective students of its location — namely, “in and of” New York City. For NYU artists, this means a bevy of clubs and venues to perform in, with some of the best nightlife scenes for honing their craft. We compiled a list of some of NYC’s best haunts frequented by NYU musicians and locals alike.
Baby’s All Right
146 Broadway, Williamsburg
NYU musicians: Tor Miller, Maggie Rogers
This place is such a staple in the Brooklyn music scene it almost seems repetitive to include, but I’m going to anyway because it’s such a cool venue. Baby’s shatters the mold of dingy Brooklyn DIY spaces, offering a full-on brunch menu as well as some tasteful decor and a well-managed relaxed vibe. The backroom concert space is a bit of a shoebox, but it lends itself well to a diverse array of acts, from trap to surf rock. Also, the cool bottle mosaic back wall makes for some dazzling light shows that Pink Floyd would be proud of.
496 Morgan Ave, Greenpoint
NYU musicians: field trip, Human People
My first time at the Greenpoint warehouse spot AVIV, it wasn’t immediately clear to me if the bar/venue/art space wasn’t also being inhabited by one, or perhaps multiple lodgers. AVIV maintains a seriously homey feel, sort of like the basement of your high school friend’s house, where you’d get together to smoke weed. If you walked by on the street, you might miss the nondescript black door that leads inside, but let that serve as metaphor for the place itself: unassuming but absolutely worth checking out.
35 Ingraham St, East Williamsburg
NYU musicians: Acid Dad
Alaska does an admirable job living up to the wild and rugged connotations of its name. There’s a fireplace and a deer head mounted above the bar, which is equipped with upwards of 25 bourbon selections. It’s also tiny enough that the whole cozy vibe is still prominent even if there’s more than 40 people in the joint. Besides being cheap and cool and out of the way, Alaska is also host to talented acts on a frequent basis and when not, the playlist is on point.
20 Meadow St, Brooklyn
NYU musicians: field trip, Glueboy, Acid Dad
In true Brooklyn form, this dual venue and recording studio is nondescript from the outside, save for a white door and the muffled sound of music. Inside, however, the space is adorned with couches, twinkling lights and even an outdoor patio. Concerts here feel like house shows with better acoustics, and it’s not uncommon for bands to hang around after their sets and chat with audience members. Catch NYU band field trip here on May 4.
The Bitter End
147 Bleecker St
NYU musicians: Kate Yeager, Nick Cianci , Molly Chapman, Leah Lavigne
Right in the heart of Greenwich Village and minutes away from the NYU campus, the Bitter End has hosted a slew of iconic musicians over the years. While it’s a great place to grab drinks and see some good music, don’t come here expecting to go crazy. The crowd tends to be older and the tables and chairs give the venue a more laid-back atmosphere. The vibe makes it perfect for catching a low-key acoustic set, like that of The Bitter End’s current artist in residence, Steinhardt sophomore Kate Yeager.
Knitting Factory Brooklyn
361 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn
NYU musicians: The Misters, Modern Diet, Beshken
With an elevated stage and large standing room, Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory is more of a traditional concert venue. The crowd is typically lively and energetic, and there’s plenty of room for dancing. The bar and restaurant in the same building are a great place to grab a meal before the show, or drinks afterwards. Catch The Ludwigs there on April 18.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 11 print edition. Email Jonah Rosario Inserra and Amanda Freebairn at [email protected]