78 Below closed within a couple months of this article’s original, September 2013 publication date
After walking past plenty of chain sushi bars and bank branches on the Upper West Side, you go down a staircase, walk in, and hear a blues band throwing down their chops, with a crowd watching intently in the music room, then others enjoying the tunes from the bar, having drinks and catching up with one another, basking in the laid-back atmosphere. This is 78 Below, a happening gastropub and Upper West Side music venue on 78th and Columbus, which brings live music in an intimate setting to a neighborhood that certainly should have more of it.
With so many places that gave the Upper West Side its character over the years closing down, this bar is a nice little oasis from the Starbucks and other chains which populate so much of Manhattan. And for those who enjoy such a funky yet relaxed ambience, 78 Below is offering music lovers, or anyone else looking to get their feet wet in the Manhattan market, a unique chance to own a stake in the establishment.
The club’s management is looking to diversify its operations by reaching out to their community for investors. The bar features live music nightly and serves food well into the night. The booking’s tend to lean towards blues and rock and roll, but with a little bit of jazz, country or latin bands in there from time to time as well, adding a little diversity to their music lineup. In a neighborhood with so many great bars, restaurants and theaters nearby, one would think that would also lend itself to a slew of live music venues, however this tends not to be the case. Very few bars in the area feature live music, even though it’s such a wonderful part of town to go out in. With live acts on a regular basis, 78 Below keeps the music and party going long after nearby neighbors like the Beacon Theater or Lincoln Center draw their curtains.
There are two levels of investment offered by the bar’s LLC, class A and class B. The investment levels offer very reasonable returns and offer partners a unique opportunity to partake in an exciting establishment, meanwhile adding a more festive and cultural vibe to the neighborhood. With so many corporate big-wigs taking over much of the city’s real estate, 78 Below offers investors a way to support the smaller “mom & pops” which have always made this neighborhood so great. Information about investing can be found on their website 78below.com along with their lively music schedule. So check it out, because you do really need another bank or Starbucks in the neighborhood? Didn’t think so.