During its heyday, New York City was considered the mecca of punk rock, with local scenesters like The Ramones and Blondie changing how punk rock was viewed forever. Local NYC venues like Max’s Kansas City and CBGB became legendary because of the stream of major punk rock bands and performances that happened there, immortalized in countless movies and books.
But what about punk rock today? Where has the legendary scene gone? CBGB and Max’s Kansas City seem like a dream far away, both victims of gentrification, like so many other worthwhile music venues and haunts. Where else can someone go to find punk today? Listed below are five punk rock venues that are open today. Today what most punk rock venues have in common is that they’re situated in Brooklyn.
1. Don Pedro
Don Pedro is a curious restaurant/music venue. It serves Ecuadorian food and has become a surprising hotspot for local garage and punk bands. King Khan and The Black Lips have performed there and it’s a stones throw away from the Crypt Records’ store. It’s become one of the most popular punk venues in NYC.
2. Trash Bar
Located in the trendy Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the Trash Bar has a rotation of touring hardcore and old-school punk bands playing seven days a week. Atmospheric and trashy, the bar lives up to its namesake. An intimate venue, the audience can get right up in the musician’s faces, and vice versa.
3. Asbury Lanes
An old school bowling lane located around two hours away from NYC, Asbury Lanes has bowling during punk rock shows. In September The Angry Samoans played a show there.
4. Cake Shop
A cafe shop with some records, Cake Shop has live shows that frequently feature garage and punk bands. It also hosts a night called Midnite Til Death, which features local punk bands.
5. Mercury Lounge
The venue that launched the career of The Strokes, Mercury Lounge is a very well known punk venue. Located in the lower east side section of Manhattan, the Mercury Lounge hosts a regular rotation of live music. Although not exclusively punk, it’s known for having many punk bands play there.