Arlenes Grocery

Establishments that don’t charge at the door are dotted throughout the city, but the Lower East Side is the capital. Within two blocks of Pianos — which usually has paid shows in its main space but free events upstairs — there are 10 or so such bars. Expand the radius a bit and you have dozens of choices. The Living Room is the Bottom Line of this sphere, packing in four or five singer-songwriters a night. With a similar average of sweaty rock bands, Arlene’s Grocery is the no-cover CBGB. [NY Times]

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