237 West 42nd St
New York, NY 10036
Hours: Open daily, Music times vary
Subway: A,C,E,N,Q,R,1,2,3,7,S to 42nd St/Time Square
Written by: Laura Sherman
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill opened its doors in June of 2000 in the heart of Times Square, on bustling 42nd Street. Accessible from nearly all the city and regional train lines, the club draws the diversity of New York City and its tourists.
The club is devoted to creating a true blues experience, despite the sometimes harried environment of this tourist hotspot. It is known for its two unique performance spaces, the Showcase Room and Lucille’s Grill.
Both of the music rooms provide a low-lit, high-energy atmosphere in a well-serviced space facing a large stage. The Showcase Room boasts a thirty-foot performance area, with two eight-foot video screens on either side that give musicians opportunities to enhance their show. Horse-shoe style seating leaves an open area before the stage for active listening and dancing, and the forty-foot bar adorned with signature saxophone beer taps further adds to the impressive aura. In an adjacent space of this downstairs club, is Lucille’s Grill, one of the best kept secrets of the city. It has a one-of-a-kind lounge atmosphere, featuring live blues every night of the week, with no cover charge.
B.B. King Blues Club implies blues music and it has a deep connection to that genre, however the club caters to other tastes as well. The Showcase Room in particular hosts rock, metal, hip-hop and tribute bands. Other artists include George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, Macy Gray, Better Than Ezra, James Brown, The Beach Boys, The Roots, NOFX, Public Enemy, Rancid, Everclear and B.B. King himself.
The menu is as diverse as the Big Apple, with a hint of Southern flair. The weekends bring a different style of entertainment with special brunch performances on both Saturdays and Sundays. Starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday mornings you can partake in a fun-filled all-you-can-eat brunch with performances by the group, Strawberry Fields, featuring members from the hit musical on Broadway, Beatlemania. Sunday mornings bring uptown to midtown west, with the Harlem Gospel Choir and an all-you-can-eat soul food brunch.