The Mercury Lounge is an intimate Lower East Side venue with a storied history: the Houston street space was originally part of the legendary NYC Astor family's pied-a-terre and was used to house servants, who reached the main house through a network of underground tunnels. While not quite so mysteriously extravagant these days, Mercury Lounge is one of the city's best spots to check out local and national touring bands up close and personal; it's no-frills (rather than divey) surroundings and quality sound system rightfully put the music center stage.
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1. Mercury Lounge 217 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)