The 80's and 90's were an amazing two decades for the piano bar scene in New York City. When Rob Hoskins and Erv Raible purchased the Duplex on Grove Street in the late '70s, they created a very special place that fostered an amazing team of talent, becoming a second home for those who worked there. As the piano bar scene and business grew, they added Brandy's (1980) and Don’t Tell Mama (1982) to the circuit, which expanded and helped to revitalize a genre that was waning in the years following the Disco rage, when mirror balls ruled the night.
The Five Oaks, Arthur’s Tavern and Marie's Crisis, along with the original Duplex at 55 Grove Street, made that block a destination for all who were seeking live piano bar entertainment. With the opening of Waverly Waverly in 1981 and 88’s in 1988, the scene expanded. When The Duplex moved to Christopher Street in the early 90's, the original space on Grove Street stayed a piano bar with the opening of Rose’s Turn. Broadway Baby expanded the scene to the Upper West Side, much as Brandy's did on the Upper East Side and Judys* in Midtown. The piano bar family grew and thrived during that time, with people moving from one piano bar to another during the course of an evening, visiting with friends and catching great nights of entertainment and camaraderie. Many of the performances that would take place on these nights became classics that the crowd would clamor for.
On Tuesday August 11th at 7pm, the doors will open at The Iridium NYC to recapture those halcyon nights and to celebrate the people who made it so memorable.
The evening is being done as a benefit for Pal-O-Mine www.pal-o-mine.org, which runs a horse farm in Ronkonkoma, Long Island, that works to help people with autism.