Updated: May 21, 2015
Best Night Clubs in New York CityWhether you live in New York City or are one of the millions of yearly visitors, the famed nightlife of the city that never sleeps never fails to live up to its reputation. The streets of Manhattan are filled with restaurants, clubs, music venues, bars. Some place remain hot spots for decades, while others come and go every 6 months. The Upper East Side is filled with trendier, more upscale eateries and music joints, while the Upper West Side caters to a slightly younger, less well-heeled clientele, with a lot of college bar kind of hangouts along Amsterdam.
But if you are looking for Jazz clubs, head for Greenwich Village. Long a neighborhood of artists and music lovers, the Village is crowded with music nightlife along 7th Ave., Christopher Street, and down along 3rd and 4th. Right off 7th Ave. is The Garage (99 7th), billed as "Greenwich Village's best casual American restaurant, outdoor cafe, and Jazz venue; featuring the rich tones of exposed rafters, brick walls, inlaid wood floors and a double-story stone fireplace. Multi-level dining allows everyone to have the best seat in the house, whether you relax on richly upholstered banquettes or overlook the entire scene from a cozy booth on the balcony. Beneath an enormous copper hood, you'll find the grand rectangular bar, where cocktails abound and grazers can enjoy the freshest shellfish from the raw bar. Regulars and newcomers alike enjoy live Jazz seven nights a week, as well as during our Jazz Brunches and new weekday Jazz Lunches Monday through Friday. Eight frosty draught beers, an incomparable live entertainment schedule, the finest seafood and steaks, and the best people-watching view make a visit to Garage a must when visiting New York City's West Village" - with that great fireplace and a big open venue, there is always something going on.
Greenwich Village Jazz ClubsAround the corner is 55 Bar at 55 Christopher St. between 6th and 7th, described as "a prohibition era dive bar with incredible live jazz, funk, and blues nightly" - don't let the non descript door fool you. Once inside you'll be swingin' with early and late shows. A great jazz haunt is The BlueNote (131 W. 3rd), where there are usually several sets of music each night starting around 8, and going on past midnight. There is limited seating (about 12 bar stools) at the bar, as well as standing room, where the cover charge is $20. Table seating is $35 per person but gets you much closer to the stage which is midway back on the left side (visible from the bar, but better seen from the seated area). A dinner menu is available as well as cocktails. You can also find BlueNotes around the world - Milan, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya.
Arthur's Tavern at 57 Grove St. is another local spot. The Cajun Restaurant is just north of the Village at 129 8th Ave - stop by for some Dixieland sounds. And don't miss Smalls - tucked away on 183 W. 10th (at 7th) - big on music. The Smoke Jazz Club and Lounge is at 2751 Broadway - they have everything from Latin Jazz on Sundays to Organ and Soul jazz and late night jam sessions. In midtown there is Birdland at 315 W. 44th, between 8th and 9th with shows at 9PM and 11PM - cover charge can vary depending on who's playing, but there is also a $10 food/drink minimum at the tables. Last is Dizzy's Club Coca Cola is at Broadway and 60th (5th floor).
For current schedules and playlists, check out the Jazz Improv free magazine available at most of these clubs, or check out their website - www.jazzimprov.com. You can download the latest issue in PDF format - enjoy!