Up and down Manhattan’s Upper East Side (UES) from 1st Avenue to 3rd — restaurants are increasingly adding live entertainment to their mix — recharging UES nightlife and hopefully their bottom line. These establishments are catering to a residential demographic that secretly longs for spots close to home or the ’70s and ’80s of yesteryear — where they can extend their nightlife and still make it to work in the morning.

Moreover, residents from the UES heydays of the late ’70s and ’80s still enjoy night time fun; listening to the music and entertainment of those eras and old New York.


Here are a few of the many UES restaurants from 70th Street to 85th Street bordering 1st to 3rd Avenues serving up entertainment with their fare. Residents are sure to find something to satisfy their entertainment palate as the options range from Jazz, to Rock, to Cabaret, Open Mike and the Great American Songbook.

The top two on our list – while outside of 1st to 3rd Avenues – are the Upper East Side Mainstays — the iconic Bemelmans Bar and Cafe Carlyle showcasing cabaret since 1955. Both are housed in the Carlyle Hotel and until recently, were one of the few uptown options for great jazz, showmanship, cabaret and dinner theatre — not to mention Woody Allen.

NYC restaurants recharging uesSOJOURN NYC Restaurant & Wine Bar. 244 East 79th Street (btwn 2nd & 3rd)
A favorite UES restaurant and wine bar, SOJOURN Restaurant and Wine Bar has offered live music on Monday and Tuesday nights for the last eight years. Monday nights offer more of a pop music band of three to four musicians, while Tuesday evenings cater to the classic rock and roll of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s featuring acoustic sets with members of NYC’s and the Hamptons’ favorite band, DEEP C REVIVAL. The band usually has special guests stop in to join them. Music starts at 10PM thru 12:30AM.

NYC restaurants recharging uesETHYL’S ALCOHOL & FOOD, 1629 2nd Avenue (btwn 84th & 85th Sts.)
Newest entertainment venue on the UES is Ethyl’s Alcohol & Food which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. Housed on 2nd Avenue between 84th and 85th, Ethyl’s offers DJs and live music ranging from full bands playing funk, rock and anything goes and caters to retro feel of the ’70s, complete with go-go dancers. Music starts at 9PM.

NYC restaurants recharging uesJACQUES BRASSERIE, 204-206 East 85th Street (btwn 2nd & 3rd)
For 22 years, Jacques Brasserie has offered an extensive wine list and classic French fare. The two-room restaurant and bar has a French Brasserie vibe fitting its live jazz music. When they first opened their doors, Jacques had live jazz entertaining their guests. Three months ago, Jacques resurrected live jazz at Jacques. Music: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays.

NYC restaurants recharging uesGRUNAUER BISTRO, 1578 1st Avenue, (82nd St.)
Peter Grünauer is no stranger to New York City residents. The gold standard in old Manhattan, back in the ’80s the renowned Austrian Chef was the proprietor of Vienna 79 – a four star restaurant and Vienna Park on the UES. His many stints in NYC include Regine’s and The Waldorf Astoria. The stories he tells. Last year, Peter opened his UES location of Grünauer Bistro, offering Classic Viennese dishes (the original is in Kansas City). Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, patrons can listen to live piano playing of timeless favorites — many from the great American songbook. Music begins at 9PM.

NYC restaurants recharging uesAMERICAN BAR (a/k/a AMERICAN TRASH), 1471 1st Avenue (76th St.)American Trash, as it is still fondly called by regulars, has been serving up cocktails to Manhattan celebrities, rock stars and locales for decades. Three nights a week you can listen to live rock music. Tuesday nights is open mike night; Wednesday nights is a jam band and Saturday evenings offer classic rock ‘n roll music.

BRANDY’S PIANO BAR, 235 East 84th Street (btwn 2nd & 3rd Aves)
One of New York’s best kept secrets, Brandy’s Piano Bar has been entertaining patrons from its Upper East Side locale for 35 years. This intimate spot showcases live talent every night and stays open ’til 3:30/4AM nightly.

NYC restaurants recharging uesTHE BEACH CAFE, 1326 2nd Avenue (70th St)
New York City’s iconic social gathering eatery & watering hole has been serving up American fare, cocktails and conversation to a loyal mix of neighborhood patrons and NY celebrity for nearly half a century. The Beach Café (The Beach), nestled on Manhattan’s UES, recently added The Beach After Dark in the form of Cabaret to its mix. A cabaret space of performance and live music is served every Thursday thru Saturday night in August thru September.

Needless to say, NYC’s Upper East Side nightlife seems to be alive and well after dark. — Abbe is #SOCIALLYSPARKED™ Tweet @sosparkednews & @asparks01