See and Be Seen: Sit Back With a Colt 45 and People Watch


During last month’s CMJ Music Marathon, the most talked about 2 a.m. show (by debauched NME darlings Towers of London) wasn’t at Bowery Ballroom or the Knitting Factory, but at Scenic, Avenue B’s newest contribution to the downtown live-music scene. The two-story space was famously home to Guernica and Save the Robots and is carrying on their tradition of good parties (with “Hot Pink,” Friday’s electro-punk night) and great indie shows. The new owners have redecorated the upstairs bar with theatrical red-velvet curtains and banquettes, deep-crimson walls that are lined with vintage posters and collectible plates, and retro lamps that barely illuminate the dark room. The best perk, though, is that now, after guzzling a beer—sorry, nothing on tap, but they do have everything from Miller High Life ($3) to Stella Artois ($5) to forties of Colt 45 ($6)—you can fill your stomach with cheap burgers and fries (only $1.25 to $2.50) from the on-site “Burger Joint.” While this isn’t the sort of annoyingly swanky place you’d come to “see and be seen,” everything—from the attractively unkempt crowd to the stylish room—is appropriately scenic.

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