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Today’s Groupon gets you $35 worth of food and drink for $15 at the gallery bar of Le Poisson Rouge, the Bleecker Street “multimedia art cabaret.” LPR’s mission is to revive art and revelry and establish a creative asylum by fusing music, film, theater, dance, fine art, staring contests, and competitive eating.
LPR’s main performance space features eclectic experimental, classical, electronic, and indie acts (John Zorn, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, Dan Deacon, Shearwater, and Andrew WK have performed there); dance and art events (Art Battles were recently held); and art-film screenings (Mutual Appreciation is showing soon with a Q & A with director Andrew Bujarski). This Groupon is also good at the adjoining gallery, a 138-capacity soundproof space that’s open during the day as a café and at night as a secondary bar.
The design is as chic and innovative as LPR’s programming. The red, gray, and black walls with silver and black stenciling are set off by subtle lighting that blows your mind with its subtlety. The state-of-the art performance space, engineered by the legendary John Storyk/WSDG, has impeccable acoustics and can be rearranged for multiple seating options.
Use your gallery Groupon to start your night with sushi, chicken satay, and zombie hunter cocktails (light rum, spiced rum, dark rum, pineapple juice, and absinthe) from LPR’s menu. Or linger during the daylight hours—LPR has free WiFi and very few vampires. This Groupon could get you seven $5 plates (prawn chips, edamame, and more) before seeing Andrew WK (he’s doing a live variety show on the 8th.)
New York magazine says Le Poisson Rouge has good food: > * Even when acts aren’t onstage at this bar-cum-performance space, patrons can snack on comfort-inspired small plates with a backdrop of works by artists such as Chuck Close. And while food isn’t the headliner, it makes a more-than-worthy opening act. The crostini plate, with crunchy, golden olive-oil-brushed toasts, comes with three little pots of fresh-tasting toppings: pesto, tomato bruschetta, and black-olive tapenade. Tofu and hearts of palm, rolled into a crêpe, nicely combine for a healthy bite, and a Parmesan crisp creatively lends texture to truffled macaroni and cheese. The bar gets busy at night, but the red-and-black edged basement doubles as a great spot for lingering with the laptop (there’s free Wi-Fi). – Kathleen Squires, New York magazine
Yelpers give Le Poisson Rouge three stars: > * Le Poisson Rouge “serves art & alcohol” and I love that it brings something different to nightlife options. I came here for an Art Battle where 6 artists painted live for 60 minutes. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I left impressed. – PC W. >* Poisson Rouge is the perfect size to see a jazz band play, or an experimental electronic group, or something acoustic and intimate. Get there early and grab a seat at a cocktail table around the stage. – Harry H. > * I thought it was definitely aesthetically pleasing and very well air-conditioned. These are important points. – Christina M.
Famous Art Battles
Art Battles are not a modern trend. Since humans first put paint to canvas, painters have been predisposed to conflict:
- Titian vs. Michelangelo: Upon viewing Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin, Michelangelo remarked, “I assume he’s the virgin.” This snide remark provoked Titian to burn down the Tower of Pisa, Michelango’s favorite hangout spot.
- Manet vs. Monet: Manet was so mad about the constant confusion between he and Monet that he burned down the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
- van Gogh vs. Seurat: Seurat, who had two ears, was extremely jealous of van Gogh’s single ear. van Gogh believed a knife fight to settle their differences would favor him since he had lost his fear of knives. He did not, however, count on Seurat holding the fight in the middle of the still flaming ruins of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. van Gogh was forced to change his name to Keytar Robinson.
Le Poisson Rouge
Christened "the coolest place to hear contemporary music in New York" by the New York Times, Le Poisson Rouge has hosted everyone from Lou Reed and Patti Smith to Yo La Tengo. Though it's reputation rests on music, the self-described "multimedia art cabaret" accommodates theater, film, dance, and literary events, too. Thanks to its flexible configurations, the space can convert from a seated screening room for 250 individuals to a standing-room only concert hall for 700 people, plus700 additional people sitting on the first 700's shoulders. As each evening's show unfurls, bartenders pour top-shelf liquors while chefs craft snacks such as mushroom sliders and flatbreads topped with serrano ham. For visual art, meanwhile, head to The Gallery at LPR, an adjoining, soundproof space that's featured exhibitions by prominent artists such as Chuck Close and Ofri Cnaani.
158 Bleecker St
New York, New York 10012Get Directions