Artfully combining the “hush hush” exclusivity of a classic speakeasy with a vibrant contemporary approach to showcasing an array of today’s hottest music and other curated arts, Club Bonafide – located on storied 52nd Street in midtown Manhattan – is where the “jazz age” meets a new age of live performances.
Fast becoming an “open secret,” an enigmatic gem that no one officially is aware of yet everyone in the know knows about, the venue offers a beautiful space designed to cultivate intimacy – a lush, retro-minded 70-seat room with state-of-the-art sound and lighting where artists connect profoundly with patrons and patrons forge lasting bonds with one another. True to its name, the venue is a nightly happening, offering a diverse, ever-expanding range of authentic music – jazz, Latin, funk, soul, blues, rock, world music and more – in a transformative family-style atmosphere. It’s a perfect place to bring clients, colleagues and lovers – and the ideal setting to meet new ones! As one regular club-goer astutely observed, “It is a home for REAL ARTISTS and REAL MUSIC in all its forms.”
With one long row of adjoining tables in the center of the room nestled between two bookending rows against the walls in a subtle, red-lit room, Club Bonafide is designed to instantly immerse club-goers in the music, inviting them to be part of the shaping of sound as it lays the foundation for a lively evening. The bands play in the front of the room before a draped backdrop, encouraging a seamless soul connection between musicians and patrons. The separate cocktail area that patrons encounter as they step off the small elevator sports a décor reminiscent of the dark, rich vintage décor of the speakeasy era, with exposed brick and warm sunset dimmed lighting. Bonafide has a full specialized cocktail, wine, and beer menu, in addition to lite-bite options; it will soon be introducing a full menu.
For proof that Club Bonafide is the most happening and fresh NYC hot spot despite its being “hidden” on the third floor of a nondescript building between a restaurant and hotel (with only small indicator and no official marked entrance), look no further than the recent moments when Sting hopped up from the crowd and joined performers onstage and when Harry Belafonte joined the musicians performing a tribute concert for his 90th birthday. The participation of these and other legends is a testament to how comfortable and at home everyone feels in the room, not simply to perform but also to be in the company with fans as peers.
Club Bonafide was originally conceptualized two years ago by veteran musician Richard Bona and restaurateur Lolo Dantonio, whose aim was to re-create the “Swing Street” era of 52nd Street. Bonafide’s new team of owners are leading the club into a dynamic new era of live performances, drawing on the bustling energy of street life in Midtown that followed the Prohibition Era. Since its launch, the venue has hosted a wide variety of music – and moving forward, the performances will continue to embody the aesthetic of diversity and cultural and theatrical significance. Bonafide is also a wondrous find for those wishing to host signature events, drawing in all that is creative in a space that fosters and supports tastemakers and influencers who want to use music as a lure for audiences. With a backdrop and décor ideally suited to support the dreams and visions of the imaginative, the club has enduring appeal for curated events with art, performance art and fashion.