The Best 12 Piano Bars in America
July 30, 2013
Whether boisterous or classy, dueling pianists or up-and-coming talent, piano bars are throwbacks to an era gone by
The Big Bang, Nashville ,Tenn.
The Big Bang is located in the heart of one of the U.S.’ best music cities, Nashville. This dueling piano bar is across the street from "Honky Tonk Row" and the Ryman Auditorium, all known for the incredible music scene. The piano bar offers a full menu filled with bar-food favorites likes Buffalo chicken bites and spinach and artichoke dip. Pair those items with a pitcher of local beer and a few shots, and you’re in for a wild and crazy night out in Nashville.
Don’t Tell Mama, New York City
In the heart of New York City’s Theater District is Don’t Tell Mama, a classic, cabaret-style piano bar that has been around since 1982. On any given night, guests could hear a song or two from Broadway legends like Liza Minnelli or Kristin Chenoweth, among many others. The menu offers a wide range of wine, beer, and cocktails, but the house specialty is Mama’s Martini, made with Stoli vanilla vodka, apricot brandy, bitters, and lemon juice. You’ll also find guests sipping on traditional Bellinis as well late into the morning hours.
Dueling Piano’s at Johnny Foley’s, San Francisco
The quality of musicians playing and singing along to favorites like Lady Gaga and Elton John is what makes Dueling Piano’s at Johnny Foley’s such a must-visit piano bar spot in San Francisco. The crowd is a mix between locals and tourists looking to kick back and request a tune while sipping on a creative cocktail. The food menu boasts chile-crusted crispy calamari as well as smoked salmon on boxty pancake with dill-shallot cream and chives. This Irish pub is known for its variety of draughts such as local beers like Anchor Steam and Irish ones like Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale 2002. The wine list is also quite spectacular, showcasing local Napa and Sonoma wines.
The Duplex, New York City
The Duplex, established in 1950, is a New York and international phenomenon when it comes to piano bars. There is nightly live music and open mike where party-goers come to sing, blow off steam, and enjoy great drinks. The Duplex bartenders are known for serving drinks and then excusing themselves for a minute to serenade patrons with a song or two. Broadway stars have also been known to swing by this popular musical watering hole.
Howl at the Moon, Denver
Howl at the Moon is a rowdy piano bar best known for providing a great night out. Their location in Denver offers Rocky Mountain locals the chance to dance the night away to music by two dueling piano players. It’s great for groups like bachelorette parties and pre-and post-game events, where friends can pass along requests to the entertainers. While the cocktail menu may not be filled with Prohibition-era cocktails or a high-end wine list, happy hour specials and draft beer are abundant, making it the perfect place to let your hair down and go wild.
The Jive & Wail Dueling Piano Bar, St Louis
This live entertainment venue showcasing dueling pianos often has supporting musical players including drummers and guitarists that will jump on stage to sing and perform special requests from the audience. They have a full menu of salads, burgers, and entrées, but if drinks are what you're after, it's drinks you will get: The bar offers bottle service for groups looking to sing and drink the night away.
The Monster, New York City
The Monster has been a long-standing cabaret staple in the New York City bar and music scene, having three locations during its long history, one even down in Key West, Fla. The piano bar was named after a carved wooden sea serpent from a Coney Island carousel. Today, the Greenwich Village hot spot is serving "monsterized" cocktails and small bites with a great happy hour and popular frozen margaritas. Entertainment legends like Eartha Kitt and Stephen Sondheim have graced its stage and wowed guests.
Pat O’Briens, New Orleans
Pat O’Briens in New Orleans is as famous for its drinks as it is for its dueling pianos. Drink specialties include The Hurricane and Bloody Marys. Patrons can indulge on the bar's signature cocktails while listening to the piano artists sing along with great party tunes on two copper-topped grand pianos. One of the best parts about the piano bar is that all the drinks are served by Pat O’Briens bartenders dressed in green coats with their signature green-velvet bowties.
Pete’s Piano Bar, Texas:
The great state of Texas is no stranger to dueling piano bars either ,and has its very own named Pete’s Piano Bar. This all-American haunt has locations in Austin, Fort Worth, Addison, and Houston, and promises that guests will enjoy the entertainment given that they participate and select the music the experts play on their two baby grand pianos. The menu offers hot dogs, sandwiches, and a plethora of appetizers, and has an extensive beer list carrying a variety of favorites on tap and in the bottle as well as a full bar.
Piano Bar Hollywood, Hollywood, Calif.
Yelp/ John H.
The Piano Bar in the heart of Hollywood, Calif., is known for showcasing hot up-and-coming musical talent in the region. The bar serves traditional speakeasy cocktails such as Old Fashioneds, Sazeracs, and French 75s.It’s also known for having a stellar happy hour menu, with $4 well drinks, beer, and wine. Recent artists to grace the stage include The California Honeydrops and Brother Sal.
The Redhead Piano Bar, Chicago
When you step into the Redhead Piano Bar in Chicago, it feels as if you are transported back to a different era where the piano man at the helm is playing songs off of classical sheet music while guests sip on cocktails from a time gone by. Today, the cocktail list boasts single-malt Scotch, cognac, port wine, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Popular cocktails include The Redhead, made with Belvedere orange vodka, Licor 43, pineapple and cranberry juice, topped with a cherry. Musical guests rotate nightly, with some of Chicago’s best piano and jazz musicians making appearances.
The Rum House, New York City
The Rum House is a departure from piano bars that are purely cabaret. At this bespoke cocktail and piano lounge, guests are entertained by piano artists with unique sounds. One night you may find a quintessential Broadway piano player pounding on the keys, while on another, you can witness vocally driven artists tickling the ivories while belting out rock 'n' roll. The cocktail list is truly a magical creation with a plethora of house-made rum to choose from as well as well as a rum Old Fashioned made with aged rum, an orange wedge, brandied cherry, and Angostura bitters.