125 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012
Hours: 3p-4a Daily
Subway: A,B,C,D,E,F,M to West 4th St
Written by: Nick D’Amore
Groove opened its doors in 1997, a natural progression by a collective of musicians from the 101 Bar, a venue further uptown on 7th Avenue. The club’s name explains its philosophy: performances are loose and organic.
Bands jam and swing spontaneously, interacting with the audience in the intimate room. On any given night, guitarists bring their solos off stage—in between the rows of tables—or an audience member jumps on stage to wail along with the band. The musicians never stop laying down thick grooves, showcasing tight playing to a crowd of hand-clappers and head-bobbers. Joy for the music overrides any air of pretension at Groove; the bands are excited to play and the audience happy to be a part of the performance.
Groove focuses primarily on R&B, blues, soul and funk music. The rhythms wafting out into the streets of Greenwich Village beckon people inside, if they aren’t already intrigued by the colorful mural of legendary musicians painted on the club’s exterior wall. Inside, artwork and pictures tastefully decorate a good portion of the walls. They serve to commemorate the superstars who have been drawn to the tunes at Groove, including Chaka Khan and Shaquille O’Neal. Groove’s affordable menu, the room’s ambience, and sultry soundtrack provide a great date spot.
Groove schedules jazz artists, spoken word performers, DJs and even some rock bands in addition to the club’s house bands throughout the week. Local and developing musicians perform in the early time slots, and inspire moving and grooving in the crowd.
Outdoor seating is available before the music starts. Groove opens early for happy hour specials, followed by big-time talent in a warm and harmonious setting.