Schumer Gets Behind Campaign to Save Arlene’s Grocery and Entertainment Venues Nationwide

Photo via Sen. Chuck Schumer's Twitter feed.

Photo via Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Twitter feed.

CBS’s morning show on Saturday highlighted the plight of the country’s performance venues, which have been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic. In the story, Chuck Schumer, the U.S. Senate’s top Democrat, advocated for emergency stimulus funding to help theaters and music halls. He was interviewed outside Arlene’s Grocery, the legendary Lower East Side music institution, which last week announced it would be forced to close in February without immediate government aid.


Schumer has been advocating for the “Save Our Stages Act,” which would allocate $15 billion for imperiled entertainment venues across the city. It is expected to be included in new stimulus legislation now being hashed out by Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate, if the two sides can ever come to terms on a deal.

On Instagram, Arlene’s Grocery thanked the senator for his efforts, but also the New York Independent Venue Association for creating a support system for venues and giving them a voice during an incredibly difficult time.

On November 27, Arlene’s Grocery posted an urgent plea for support:

Help Us Save Arlene’s. Hit hard like many, the Covid pandemic has devastated our industry. After 25 years of serving the Lower East Side, and giving a platform for musicians and artists alike, Arlene’s Grocery is on life support. Without any aid we will not be able to continue to serve our community and will be closing our doors on February 1st. The owners and staff members are absolutely heartbroken. Arlene’s has become a home to so many over the years and we are in desperate need of your help. A CALL TO ACTION: •Share your memories or posts to help save Arlene’s. We need to make some noise. Make sure to tag as many as you can. •Share with us any resources or contacts to those who can be of help •Donate to our Venmo or Go Fund Me •Buy Arlene’s Merchandise •Subscribe to our Patreon Small stages are vital to the music industry, artistically and functionally, and losing them is truly a loss to the entire community.

Arlene’s Grocery started a GoFundMe campaign a few months ago. It has now raised about $27,000 of an $80,000 goal.   




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A post shared by Arlene’s Grocery (@arlenesgrocery)

Arlene’s Grocery Celebrates 20 Years This Week

Arlene's Grocery

Within the ever changing landscape of New York City, 20 years is a serious milestone worth celebrating. This month, iconic Lower East Side music venue,  Arlene’s Grocery (95 Stanton Street), turns twenty years old and is celebrating with a throwback lineup through Saturday.

Anniversary events include the return of Arlene’s famed Open Mic night and downtown rocker Tommy London’s legendary rock show, along with performances by New York artists Grace Weber and Tall Juan.

Arlene's Golden Birthday Bash

Friday and Saturday evening are the highlights of the celebratory week, with Tall Juan, Sharkweek, LuxDeluxe, and Manfred Kidd performing Friday, November 20th, and Jennah Bell, Joel Daniels and Grace Weber performing Saturday, November 21st.

Since turning the former bodega into a music venue, Arlene’s has managed to maintain its reputation as a haven for emerging artists. The venue is known for its diverse calendar of shows, and for booking bands like The Strokes before anyone had heard of them.  They’ve played a major role in the success of Jeff Buckley, Arcade Fire, Lady Gaga, The Bravery, Lana Del Rey and more.

Owners Dermot Burke and Tony Caffrey, and booking team Julia Darling and Lindsey Gardner, share a genuine passion for music that has enabled Arlene’s to outlast the many challenges presented by the neighborhood. The team continues to take risks on unknown musicians and keeps prices reasonable at $10 or less per show.

More recently, they’ve also been hosting group art shows in their lounge which are curated by local artist Joseph Meloy.


Police Looking For Purse Snatcher Following Arlene’s Grocery Theft

Still image from security camera/NYPD.

Police are looking for help in tracking down a suspect accused of swiping two purses from Arlene’s Grocery, 95 Stanton Street, in early August. According to the Post, the woman was booted from the music club on August 7 because she was drunk.  She apparently “made a scene” before moving on to another music club, Piano’s, around the corner on Ludlow Street.

Two women reported their purses had been stolen. They had been hanging on hooks beneath the bar.  Police say the suspect is 25 years old. They believe she took at least one purse, a cell phone, a wallet, cash and credit cards. The still image posted above was captured by a surveillance camera at Piano’s at around 1 a.m.

If you can help, Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477).

Jim Carrey Pops Up at Arlene’s Grocery Karaoke Night

Look who showed up at Arlene’s Grocery Friday. night. “Rock n Roll Karaoke” featured none other than Jim Carrey, treating the audience to a very interesting version of Radiohead’s “Creep.” He also sang Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” and did a little impromptu standup.  Carrey has been showing up in unexpected places lately.