The Living Room

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The Living Room
"Showcasing New York City’s singer/songwriter,
alt-country, and rock"
Location134 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn, New York
OwnerSteve Rosenthal and Jennifer Gilson
TypeMusic venue
Genre(s)acoustic rock, alternative rock, Alternative country, electronic, folk, indie, rock

The Living Room was a music venue on Metropolitan Avenue in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, which was originally established on Stanton Street of the Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York City in 1988.[1] The Living Room was co-owned by Steve Rosenthal and Jennifer Gilson. The Living Room has showcased some of the best of New York City’s singer/songwriter, alt-country, and rock. It moved to Brooklyn in 2015 before closing in December of the same year.[2]

Norah Jones performed at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Living Room.

This music venue has been called "an incubator of talent,"[3] and has been described as "a much mellower and tidier successor to CBGB."[3] Some considered The Living Room as The Bottom Line of the "small bankroll" live rock venues.[4] Other comparable venues include The Saint in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and The Cellar Door in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. The Living Room's line-up featured four or five singer-songwriters a night, yet the club did not typically charge a cover.[4] It did have a one drink minimum and a recommended $5 donation for the bands.[5]

Some of The Living Room's sessions were recorded. In 2002 a CD, The Living Room - Live in NYC - Vol.1 (Stanton St. Records), featuring live recordings from The Living Room was released. The CD included performances by Norah Jones, Jesse Harris, Malcolm Holcombe, Rachel Loshak, and Chris Moore.[6]

The Living Room's patrons and performers have been characterized as a "close-knit family..."[3] Those who have performed there include Joseph Arthur, Colbie Caillat, Minnie Driver, David Ford, Jesse Harris, Beatie Wolfe, Ari Hest, Norah Jones, Jim Campilongo,Jesse Malin, Madeleine Peyroux, Jason Reeves, Ron Sexsmith, The Little Willies, Ane Brun, The Shells, Chris Thile, Martha Wainwright and Lizzy Grant (now known as Lana Del Rey).[7][8][2]

Kemp Muhl and Eden Rice Performing at The Living Room

Additionally, The Living Room had a smaller more intimate upstairs area known as Googies Lounge. Live artists used to perform every night of the week.[9]


Gilson, who is married to Rosenthal, first opened The Living Room in a former fried chicken joint a few blocks from the latter location. In 2003, the club moved from Stanton Street to its second location on Ludlow Street, which had a main music room, front bar area, and upstairs lounge.[8] The venue closed on December 21, 2015.[10]


  1. ^ "Atc Loudspeakers Go Live in the Living Room". Archived from the original on 14 April 2005. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Pull up a seat at the new Living Room site". 20 May 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14.
  3. ^ a b c Chinen, Nate (April 2, 2008). "Ms. Jones and Guitar in the Spirit of the Place". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b Sisario, Ben. (2007, December 14). Live rock on a small bankroll. The New York Times, p. E1.
  5. ^ "FAQ | the Living Room". Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  6. ^ Bessman, J. (2003, March 15). Words & Music: The Big Winner. Billboard, p. 36.
  7. ^ "Surround in the Living Room". Archived from the original on 8 August 2004. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Our Story | the Living Room". Archived from the original on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Googies | the Living Room". Archived from the original on 30 March 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  10. ^ Sisario, Ben (December 8, 2015). "The Living Room to Close at the End of December".

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