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NYC Nightlife Under 21: A - L

It's 10 o'clock. Do you know where your children are? Kids as young as 16 can get into some of the hot spots listed below, at least on certain nights. If you are planning on heading out, you will still need proof of age, and you will definitely be carded for alcohol.


Some venues may be closed due to recent events in New York City. Call ahead for info.

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BAM Cafe, 30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Pl., Brooklyn (718) 636-4139
All ages
Directly above the main lobby of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the cafe hosts a weekly performance series with everything from Jazz to Spoken Word to Afro-pop, Latin, Rock, R&B, Blues, and Experimental music. Thursdays and Fridays are live music, Saturdays are dance parties. Hours: Wed-Sun (and all performance nights) concessions and dinner 4:30 - 11pm; Sunday brunch 12 - 5pm. There is no cover for shows but there is a $10 food/drink minimum. The cafe also hosts a Gospel Brunch on select Sundays from 2-4pm ($20, less for kids). Subway: B, N, R to Pacific St., D, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Ave., G to Fulton St.


B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 W. 42nd St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.) (212) 997-4144     (see events)
All ages
The famous blues club at Times Square has performers every night at 8pm and 10:30pm and a Gospel Brunch every Sunday at 1pm and 3pm. The restaurant is open every day from 11am - midnight. Covers charges vary. Call for reservations or reserve online. Subway: N, R, S, 1, 2, 3, 7, 9 to 42nd St. - Times Square.


The Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway at 74th St. (212) 496-7070     (see events)
Usually all ages
The Beacon hosts some of the best medium-sized performances of both music and theater. Many people prefer it to some of the larger venues because of its smaller, cozier atmosphere. Box office is open 11am - 7pm, M - F and noon - 5pm on Saturday and Sunday when there is a show. Subway: 1, 2, 3, 9 to 72nd St.


Blarney Star, 43 Murray St. (btw. Church & W. Broadway) (212) 732-2873     (see events)
All ages.
"Weekly Friday night concerts of Irish traditional music in New York City. Performers include the best local and visiting instrumentalists and singers." Shows at 9pm & 10:30pm. $10 cover. Dining available. Subway: A, C, 1, 2, 3, 9 to Chambers St.; N, R, 4, 5, 6 to City Hall.


Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St., btwn Bowery & Crystie St. (212) 533-2111     (see events)
Age limit varies (16 - 21) depending on the show.
Outfitted in classy Art Deco style, this three-level former shoe store has a downstairs lounge and a 500-capacity concert hall. A cool mid-sized venue for Electronica, Alternative and Indie-rock. Downstairs opens at 7pm, upstairs opens at 8pm with shows starting at 9:30 or 10pm. Tickets from $12 - $30. The Box Office at the Mercury Lounge is open from 12 - 7pm, Mon.-Sat. (212-260-4700). Subway: J, M to Bowery, 6 to Spring St.


Brooklyn Moon Cafe, 745 Fulton St., Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718) 243-0424
All ages
Cafe bistro hosting live Jazz and R&B. Tues-Sun 10am - 10pm, Fri 10pm - 2am. Open mic on Fridays at 10:30pm for a $5 cover. Subway: C to Lafayette Ave., G to Fulton St.


Cafe Wha?, 115 MacDougal St. (btw. W. 3rd & Bleeker Sts.) (212) 254-3706
All ages.
Monday: Brazillian Night, $10 cover. Tuesday: Funk night, $7. Wednesday - Sunday: the Wha? Band plays a mixture of Rock, R&B, Funk, and Reggae, $5 on Thurs, $10 Fri and Sat. Hours: 8:30pm - 2:30am (weekdays) or 4am (Fri & Sat). They also serve dinner and drinks. Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, Q to W. 4th St.


Caffe Greco, 79-08 37th Ave., Jackson Hieghts, Queens. (718) 396-4243
All ages
This cafe has "Tuneful Tuesdays" every week from 7pm - 9:30pm with folk and other performers. No cover. There's also an open mic poetry and performance night every first Monday of the month.


Caravan of Dreams Cafe, 405 E. 6th St. at 1st Ave. (212) 254-1613
All ages
Restaurant with live music of various kinds playing in the evening from 8pm - 10ish. No cover. Subway: F to 2nd Ave.; 6 to Astor Pl.


CBGB, 313 Bowery at Bleecker St. (212) 982-4052     (see events)
Age 16 and up.
Since 1976, this club has been serving the best in Punk and alternative rock. Blondie and the Talking Heads got their starts here. CB's (as it's affectionately called) now hosts many different kinds of music, but it's still true to its punk roots. Shows nightly at 8pm. Cover: $5-$10. Subway: B, D, F, Q to Broadway-Lafayette, 6 to Bleeker.


Downtime, 251 W. 30th St., btwn 7th & 8th Aves. (212) 695-2747
Age 18 and up (with two forms of ID).
This three-level night club boasts live music on the Main floor, plus a DJ dance hall and a Game Room. Live shows include Jazz, Blues, Rock and Pop music. Open Wed - Sat from 5pm - 4am, and other days for special events. The cover charge is usually $5 after 7:30pm, $10 on Fridays, and $10 - $15 on Saturdays. Subway: 1, 9 to 28th St.


Engine 27, 173 Franklin St. (btw. Greenwich & Hudson Sts.) (212) 431-7466
All ages
This brand new "Sound Gallery" and performance space was built with state-of-the-art technology so that performers can customize their acoustic space. They have installations which are open to the public Tues - Fri from noon to 5pm, and experimental electronic concerts on select nights at 8pm. $10 suggested donation. Subway: 1, 9 to Franklin St.


Exit, 610 W. 56th St., btwn 11th & 12th Aves. (212) 582-8282
Age 18 and up, Fridays from 10pm - 6am.
Dance the morning away to Hip Hop, Techno, R&B and House music at this 4 level nightclub. You can also chill out in one of their lounge areas if you're too tired to close down the dance floor at 9am. $25 cover. Subway: A, C, B, D, 1, 9 to 59th St.


Fez, 380 Lafayette at Great Jones St. (212) 533-2680     (see events)
All ages
Underneath NoHo's Time Cafe, this multi-media performance space hosts established as well as emerging artists. Regular features include Mingus Big Band every Thursday night, and a drag cabaret every Sunday night. Cover is generally $10 - $15 plus a two drink minimum. Subway: B, D, F, Q to Broadway-Lafayette; 6 to Bleeker.


El Flamingo, 547 W. 21st St., btwn 10th & 11th Aves. (212) 243-2121
Age 18 and up for 8pm shows
Home of the off-broadway hit, The Donkey Show, showing Wed - Sat at 8pm and Fri & Sat at 10:30pm with a Disco dance party afterward. See nytheater.com for more info. Subway: C, E to 23rd St.


Gradisca, 126 W. 13th St., btwn 6th & 7th Aves. (212) 691-4886
All ages
Restaurant/bar with nightly DJs playing Funk, Hip Hop and Italian Pop. Not a dance club, but people sometimes do get up and shake their booties. Open 6pm - 1am every night. No cover. Subway: F, 1, 2, 3, 9 to 14th St.; L to 6th Ave.


Halcyon, 227 Smith St., btwn Butler & Douglass Sts.; Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (718) 260-9299
All ages
Started by three DJs looking for a record store with a homey atmosphere, Halcyon offers a wide selection of vinyl and CDs for sale, plus comfy couches, cafe fair (coffee, beer, wine, sandwiches and goodies), and antiques. DJs play every night, and on Saturday they have a "Record Party" with open turntables for the aspiring and experienced DJs to get their grove on. Open Sun - Thur from 10am - 12am, Fri & Sat from 10am - 2am. No cover. Subway: F, G to Bergen St.


Hard Rock Cafe, 221 W. 57th St. (btw. Broadway & 7th Ave.) (212) 489-6565     (see events)
All ages
Every Friday and Saturday night at 9pm they have live bands playing Punk, Rock, R&B, Pop and more. $5 cover. Cafe hours: 11:30am - midnight, every day. Subway: A, C, B, D, 1, 9 to 59th St.; N, R to 57th St.


Helena's, 432 Lafayette St., btwn 4th St. & Astor Pl. (212) 677-5151
All ages
Tapas bar where nightly DJs play Salsa, Merengue, Techno, Latin Rock, Cuban and more. Check out their Spanish Garden in the summer time. Always free. Open every night from 5pm - 1am (4am on Sat). Subway: N, R to 8th St.; 6 to Astor Pl.


Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place at 15th St. (212) 777-6800     (see events)
All ages
This 1000 capacity concert hall hosts all kinds of musical acts including live big band swing every Sunday. The box office is open M-F from 12 - 6:30pm and Sat from 1 - 4pm. There is a bar on the premesis but you must obtain a wristband to drink. Check their hotline (212-777-1224) for concert info. Subway: L, N, R, 4, 5, 6 to 14th St.-Union Sq.


The Kitchen, 512 W. 19th St. (btw. 10th & 11th Aves.) (212) 255-5793
All ages
"The Kitchen is an interdisciplinary laboratory for visionary emerging and established artists." Come see performances and gallery installations of music, dance, video, digital media and internet culture. The gallery is free and open Tues - Sat from 2pm - 6pm, and on performance days one hour before show time and during intermission. Subway: C, E to 23rd St.


Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard St., btwn Broadway & Church St. (212) 219-3055     (see events)
All ages
Wide ranging musical tastes continue to drive the beat at the Knitting Factory. Cutting Edge music combined with great acoustic performances make this place a favorite. There are three performance spaces: the Knitting Factory, the KnitActive Sound Stage, and the Old Office. Cover: $8 and up. Subway: A, C, E, N, R, 6 to Canal St.; 1, 9 to Franklin St.


La Belle Epoque, 827 Broadway (btw. 12th & 13th Sts.) (212) 254-6436
All ages
Fine french dining and live zydeco music make a great date. Wed - Sun from 6pm - 11ish, plus a jazz brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Subway: L, N, R, 4, 5, 6 to 14th St. Union Sq.


Limelight, 660 Sixth Ave. @ 20th Street. (212) 807-7780
Age 18 and up
The famous converted church club has finally reopened! The balconies are great for people watching and the stained glass windows add a uniquely surreal touch. 5 rooms playing different kinds of music. Cover: $25. Hours: Wed - Sun 10pm-4am. Subway: F, N, R to 23rd St.


Lion's Den, 214 Sullivan St. (btw. Bleeker & W. 3rd St.) (212) 477-2782     (see events)
Age 18 and up
Live music every night starting at 8pm. Cover charge is around $10. Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, Q to W. 4th St.


The Living Room, 84 Stanton St. at Allen St. (212) 533-7235     (see events)
All ages
Acoustic cafe. No cover ($5 suggested donation), 1 drink minimum. They have a light menu. Hours: Mon - Fri from 6pm - 1am, Sat & Sun from noon - 3am. Subway: J, M, Z to Essex St.

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