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Best Place to Recapture the Spirit of Maxwell’s (At Least a Little)


There will never be another place like Maxwell’s, the legendary Hoboken restaurant backroom that closed in 2013 after helping spawn indie rock during its 35-year lifespan. While we’re still waiting for Maxwell’s impresario Todd Abramson to open a planned venue in Jersey City’s White Eagle Hall, you can recapture a bit of its soul at HiFi Bar, the East Village neighborhood hangout that is now booking shows in the former Brownies space. There’s the same casual atmosphere — the musicians hanging aroundin the audience before the show, owner Mike Stuto (formerly Brownies’ booker) wandering through the crowd with a bucket for donations to pay the performers (most shows are free), and plenty of familiar faces from late nights on Washington Street. OK, the sound system isn’t going to blow your ears out like the one across the river did, but then many of the bands that made Maxwell’s home are turning to acoustic instruments anyway: In recent months, Versus, Antietam, and the Feelies’ Glenn Mercer and Dave Weckerman were among those spotted getting in touch with their less ear-splitting sides on HiFi’s tiny stage. You could do worse than to grow old gracefully amid such congenial surroundings.

169 Avenue A, Manhattan



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