Arlene’s Grocery (yes, it was a grocery) opened its doors in 1995 – breaking ground in the then treacherous Lower East Side. Upcoming bands flocked to the seedy neighborhood to experience the sonic beauty of the smaller 150-capacity room which played host to garage rock, punk, and bohemian newcomers, such as Jeff Buckley.
In the late 1990’s the club branched into the butcher shop next door and became two rooms under one roof. As the neighborhood gentrified around them, the Lower East Side became the hub of NYC rock. The club hired a Live Rock N Roll Karaoke band who became an instant hit in the city, attracting New Yorkers and tourists from all over the globe to catch a glimpse of celebrities, such as Moby, belting out AC/DC. Shortly after, Arlene’s garnered more attention – becoming home to The Strokes, and then booking a residency by The Bravery, which would land the band a deal, and propel them to fame.
As a handful of live music clubs pop up (and down) around the area, Arlene’s holds fast to its intention of nurturing unsigned bands; its attention to the highest quality sound; and remaining an institution in the NYC rock scene.
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