American Beauty Bar NY NY

AB-colorlogo-white-outlineAmerican Beauty Bar

Midtown Manhattan New York, NY

by Marc Lovely

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Searching for an ideal place to stretch your hard-earned money and pass an evening in the hustle-bustle of Midtown Manhattan can usually be a headache, not to mention, take a considerable amount of time. If you live in the city and don’t already have a go-to, or you’re just visiting and have to rely on Yelp, you’re going to encounter a problem-how do you choose? Restaurants, bars, and music venues blanket the area, smothering it with an assortment of respectable establishments,  making it hard to kick a can without hitting one. Each contests the other with enticing gimmicks, happy hour deals, talented artists, and quirky, sidewalk chalkboard specials to try and draw the biggest crowd. It’s clustered culinary chaos at its finest, but I’m going to tip you off about one bar and music venue that has been emerging as one of the premier nighttime hotspots in the city that never sleeps.   

American Beauty Bar NYC is situated among the masses, just a block away from Madison Square Garden, yet it drastically stands out as one with the most happening. With a 400-capacity live music hall in the rear that boasts high ceilings and a great sightlines to the stage, it really is an impressive place to see a show. Couple that with the support from the Webster Hall concert team and you have one of the strongest, competing businesses out there. The bona fide talent that flows through the door seven nights a week is as solid as it gets and the extensive, ever-revolving beer menu allows both the average patron or astute beer connoisseur to never get bored. Of course they also serve a fine selection of wine and spirits.

If you venture up a flight of stairs to the entresol you’ll find the Game Room, a loft area with a bird’s eye view of both the front bar and music hall. It is equipped with a pool table and pizza station. And I guess  now would be as good a time as any to tell you about the free personalized thin-crust pizza with every drink you purchase. Yes, you read that correctly. Every drink comes with free pizza! This is place that expresses a versatile ambiance that is suitable for just about any type of socialite. And in a city where money talks, free pizza is always welcome.

Contrary to what other music venues in the city have to offer, American Beauty focuses squarely on the many genres that make up the jam band scene-rock and roll being the primary concentration, but it is certainly not limited to just jam rock, as funk, bluegrass, outlaw country, and Americana are all on the schedule. The coming months will feature a number of artists that will appeal to a mixed crowd. The bar opens daily at 4pm. Look for topnotch concerts, beer tastings events, MSG afterparties, and other special events.  To view the full schedule of  events taking place, please visit their website at

We were able to catch up with Kaelin Ballinger, General Manager for American Beauty, for an in-depth interview about what the venue is all about. The bar is located at 251 W 30th St, New York, New York 10001 and can be reached by phone at (212) 695-8970.

LMNR:  Tell us about your vision for American Beauty.

Kaelin Ballinger:  American Beauty is a 400-cap concert venue with a premiere beer bar attached that opens daily at 4pm.  We have a games room on the mezzanine level.  It’s a hybrid business that combines world-class musical programming with a fun, high-end bar/party experience.

LMNR:  How will it be different from other venues in NYC?

Kaelin Ballinger:  Musical programming will focus on rock, blues, funk, jazz, soul, funk etc.  We want to be a Manhattan home for party and jam centric music.  Different spaces within the venue feature different types of entertainment and atmospheres.

LMNR:  What is it about this music that compels you to open a music venue?

Kaelin Ballinger:  We feel that there is no venue really dedicated to rock, blues, funk, jazz music in Manhattan, and especially not in Midtown.

LMNR: What’s your past experience in venue operation?

Kaelin Ballinger:  Webster Hall opened in 1992 and has evolved over the years to be a full time concert venue.  Our company has programmed the entertainment, promoted events and operated the venue for over two decades.  In 2011 we opened The City Beer Hall in Albany NY, our first foray into craft beer and food.  American Beauty is a hybrid business that combines our experience in live music with our hospitality experience working with high-end drink and food.

LMNR:  Who else is on your team?

Kaelin Ballinger:  American Beauty is led by Kaelin Ballinger, Kenny Schachter and Lon Ballinger of Webster Hall with backing from the whole WH team.  Concerts are booked [myself], having recently moved to NYC after several years booking shows in Denver.

LMNR:  What would your dream show be to host at American Beauty?

Kaelin Ballinger: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead

LMNR:  Tell me about a live music experience you’ve had in a venue of this size, not necessarily one you operated, that is helping to shape your vision?

Kaelin Ballinger:  I think venues like City Winery, Brooklyn Bowl and Baby’s All Right – which offer more entertainment and hospitality than the square-room-with-a-stage venue model that is predominate – are setting a new trend in music venue styles.

LMNR: What’s the food and beverage experience going to be and how does it tie into your musical vision?

Kaelin Ballinger:  We have a high-end beer and cocktail program.  Simple, properly made cocktails.  Rotating craft beers with an emphasis on local and specialty options.  And we offer a free personal pizza with every drink purchased.  The pizza is actually really good.

You can learn more about American Beauty at their website. Or check them out on Facebook.

Upcoming Shows:

Every Tuesday we bring you “American Beauty Hootenanny”  9pm – 12am.  A FREE bluegrass session featuring hosts Melody Allegra Berger Band w/City Stompers dancing the night away

March 26  Sprocket and Bee

April 29 Vintage Grateful Dead tribute band Box of Rain featuring Tom Cicosta of Box of Rain and members of Living Earth.  TICKETS  See some video below.

April 30  Kiirstin Marilyn and Deff RayFreekbass-4x6

May 1  Pearl Jam after party with The Us American and Red Miquito

May 6 Terrapin

May 11  Little Feat Tribute  Sailin Shoes.

May 13  Half Step  TICKETS

May 28  Ropeadope Recording Artist  Freekbass and the Bump Assembly  (featuring members of PFunk and Bootsy Collins’ Rubber Band.  TICKETS

To Submit a review or story for consideration hit us at [email protected]

Check out the Live Music News and Facebook page for updates and announcements.