Tonic (music venue)

Coordinates: 40°43′8.15″N 73°59′14.22″W / 40.7189306°N 73.9872833°W / 40.7189306; -73.9872833
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Tonic, Lower East Side, NYC, 2005

Tonic was a music venue located in New York City founded by Melissa Caruso Scott and John Scott. First opened in 1998, it described itself as supporting "avant garde, creative and experimental music" and known for its commitment to musical integrity.[1][2] Tonic was a former kosher winery and after opening quickly became a focal point of the downtown avant-garde scene.[3] The small and unassuming building provided a sense of intimacy by setting the performers within arms length of the audience. Tonic also doubled as a place for a variety of musicians to record live.[4]

In April of 2007, Tonic would permanently close its doors due to soaring rent on the Lower East Side.[5] As gentrification spread through the Lower East Side, apartment high-rises were built on either side of the club, eventually pushing the club to close its doors.[3] On Friday, April 13, 2007, Tonic would host its final show, an evening of improvisation organized by John Zorn and a techno party, The Bunker, hosted by Bryan Kasenic (DJ Spinoza).[1] The closure the following day was accompanied by a symbolic protest. There were more than 100 protestors and two musicians, (Marc Ribot and Rebecca Moore) refused to leave, resulting in an arrest for trespassing.[1] The Bunker moved the following week to Luna Lounge in Brooklyn which was also a club that had recently displaced from the Lower East Side.[6]

Selected recordings[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Requiem for a Club: Saxophone and Sighs Nate Chinen, The New York Times, April 16, 2007, Retrieved September 29, 2007
  2. ^ Ben Sisario Avant-Garde Music Loses a Lower Manhattan Home, March 31, 2007
  3. ^ a b Sisario, Ben (March 31, 2007). "Avant-Garde Music Loses a Lower Manhattan Home". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  4. ^ Federico Cribiore (2000). "Tonic is a special place.". Tonic [CD booklet]. Hollywood: Blue Note.
  5. ^ Lower East Side Is Under a Groove Allen Salkin, The New York Times, June 3, 2007, Retrieved September 29, 2007
  6. ^ The Listings: April 20 – April 26 April 20, 2007, The New York Times, Retrieved September 29, 2007

External links[edit]

40°43′8.15″N 73°59′14.22″W / 40.7189306°N 73.9872833°W / 40.7189306; -73.9872833