Mercury Lounge

Dive Bar / Live Music Venue
Mercury Lounge Not just another Lower East Side dive bar, Mercury Lounge is the place to be to see some of the best up-and-coming and underground talent in indie rock, and has hosted the likes of Arcade Fire, The Strokes, and The Yeah Yeah... New York United States 40.722036 -73.986806
3.75 11
Mercury Lounge - Dive Bar | Live Music Venue in New York.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Not just another Lower East Side dive bar, Mercury Lounge is the place to be to see some of the best up-and-coming and underground talent in indie rock, and has hosted the likes of Arcade Fire, The Strokes, and The Yeah... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    F: Lower East Side-2nd Avenue-Houston

  • Phone:

    212-260-4700

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Daily 6pm–3am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Mercury Lounge Review

The Scene

Not just another Lower East Side dive bar, Mercury Lounge is the place to be to see some of the best up-and-coming and underground talent in indie rock, and has hosted the likes of Arcade Fire, The Strokes, and The Yeah Yeah...

Not just another Lower East Side dive bar, Mercury Lounge is the place to be to see some of the best up-and-coming and underground talent in indie rock, and has hosted the likes of Arcade Fire, The Strokes, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Music fans who make it past the huge bouncer and the ticket girl will find themselves in a spare brick room, where like-minded young patrons in jeans and t-shirts gather at the long bar to gear up for the night’s performances or hobnob with the band members before the show.

The main action, however, takes place on the other side of the door in the back, which gives way to a modest performance area where hipsters cram into the open space to shuffle their feet and bob their heads to the beat of their favorite bands on stage just an arm’s length away.

With such a varied roster of acts covering all genres of rock, the vibe at Mercury is largely dependent on the bands and can switch from a mellow acoustic experience one night to an all-out rock and roll party the next.

While a small mobile bar provides a limited selection of beer, most patrons keep the drinking casual so they can focus on the music. Conversation is also rare while the bands are playing, but between sets there’s no lack of discussion among the music-savvy patrons.

Known for booking top talent, Mercury Lounge is the place to go for live music lovers who want to catch a quality show in an intimate atmosphere – before the featured band starts selling out arenas.

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Tip from Jonah:

Most of the bands hang out with their fans at the bar pre- and post-performance, so grab a spot there if you can.

  • Crowd

    Musicians, hipsters, groupies, and fans of the band, 20s to 40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Live bands nightly play most variations of rock music. Check the website for listings.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    None.

  • Prices

    Cover charge $5+. Beer $5+, cocktails $7+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: jeans, t-shirts, Converse sneakers, tank tops.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any night a favorite band is playing.

  • Close By

    Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen Street) is a live music venue featuring an array of singer/songwriters and indie rock music.

Mercury Lounge User Reviews

Average rating:
Indie Rock Haven
Mike H. Apr 1, 2013
Though it has a bar installed, no one will ever tell you they went to The Mercury Lounge with the specific purpose of getting drinks. Located on the Lower East Side this limited-capacity spot is one of the premiere music venues in the city to catch some of the best new artists in indie rock. Regularly booking the kind of talent that go on to headline places like the Bowery Ballroom, Terminal 5, and The Beacon Theatre years down the line, The Mercury Lounge is like a nightly microcosm of Austin's South by Southwest festival, where newly touted buzz-bands are looking to make a statement for themselves. Thanks to its limited-capacity (maxing out somewhere around 250) the venue instills an incredible sense of intimacy with whoever is onstage. You'll find that this relaxed accessibility oftentimes translates offstage as well, with artists regularly hanging out and having a drink with guests before or after their set. You call it a dive bar if you want, but The Mercury Lounge is nothing more than a great place for music that just happens to have a bar in it.
For Underground Music Lovers
Shirley P. Feb 20, 2013
The Mercury Lounge is definitely not a lounge in the traditional sense. It is a no-frills, SRO music venue is for people who are serious about listening to music and want to do it in a personal atmosphere. Since opening its doors in 1997, the Mercury Lounge has hosted a diverse array of acts ranging in genre from rock to punk-infused rock, garage, acoustic duos, ska and more from across the indie music scene. Some acts are local and others hail from around the world, where back home, they've garnered enough of a local buzz to make the Mercury Lounge booking list. This low-key establishment continues to bring in many bands who are just on the cusp of more mainstream acclaim, making it one of few places music lovers can experience live artists "before they were cool" and with a capacity of only 250, the bands can be seen as well as heard from any part of the stage area. Drinks are cheap, live music is featured daily, with early shows on some days, with most shows for crowd over 21. Tickets start at $10 when purchased in advance, $12 at the door, but with its small capacity, not everyone will get in for popular shows, so show up early.
Intimate Music Venue
Risa C. Dec 10, 2012
I came here to see the Morning Benders play and it was pretty much what I would expect from a divey music venue. The drinks were cheap, the walls were something I wouldn't want to lean against and the music was awesome. The front bar is your typical dive with PBRs and whiskeys appearing to be the drinks of choice, while the back room is a great intimate space to see your favorite band perform. The performers were pretty much able to make eye contact with fans as far as the back row and from my location in the center of the room I was able to see the sweat dripping down the performers' foreheads. Great space for a show where you want to feel close to the band.
Mercury Poisoning
Jaclyn W. Nov 15, 2012
Pretty sure I may have stumbled into this place in sweatpants. I know anything was possible that night. My best friend wasn't allowed in, two creepy guys would not leave me and my other friend alone so I pretended she was my legitimate girlfriend, my two guy friends got free beers, my other girlfriend got chased down and followed to the bathroom. What I'm trying to say is that this bar is not a classy establishment nor is it somewhere you should ever be forced to venture to unless it is happy hour and you are with coworkers who all would love to leave the second it ends. The drinks are disgustingly sweet including the wine. The food is a serious joke. Like go to the bodega down the street if you want tater tots and nachos. The crowd - I'm not really sure what was going on that night. If you want to have a good time at this bar, make sure it is a Sunday or a huge NFL game. Otherwise stay far, far away say maybe Neptune or Pluto.
Aw yeah
Chris K. Nov 14, 2012
Oh man, the Mercury Lounge. How many times does one have to stumble out onto Houston Street stinking of cheap scotch before they get a residency here? Anyway, the Mercury Lounge is one of the city's best dive bars and venues, and has a definite ambience that comes only from having a history in New York. It's here where you can catch some of the best bands in underground music just before they're too famous to play midtown but just after their fanbase has gotten serious enough that they no longer have to slave away at a series of basements in Williamsburg. A definite stop for music fans the world over.
Good good good
michael s. Sep 30, 2012
Mercury Lounge isn't the nicest venue. It doesn't have the best bar. Some nights, it tends to smell kinda funky. But man oh man they have a good music booker. When bands I love come through town I try to make a point to catch their shows. I'd say eight times out of ten they play Mercury Lounge. The bands that they book are usually pretty *cool*, but the vibe of the crowd always remains pretty relaxed & fun. The sound in the venue is pretty good, too. It's a great place grab a drink and see some incredible live music.
Essential indie dive
Victoria V. Sep 20, 2012
Go see a show here. In three years time, there's a good chance you'll be bragging about how you saw such-and-such band in a dingy bar for $5 back when they had only released their E.P. In particular, keep an eye out for their artists from out-of-town.; many of them are hugely popular back home, but haven't accrued the international reputation to play at one of New York's larger venues.
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