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Lenox Lounge - 17 Reviews - 288 Lenox Ave, New York, NY - Bars, Pubs & Clubs Reviews - Phone (212) 427-0253

Lenox Lounge

288 Lenox Ave (at nr. 125th St.)
New York, NY 10027
(212) 427-0253
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Bars, Pubs & Clubs

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Food & Dining


Lenox Lounge - New York, NY
Lenox Lounge - New York, NY


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I am really surprised at the reviews below. It seems people are willing to pay 75 to 100$ to go to a pop concert, but can't shell out 36$ to see jazz! I stayed in Harlem for three...


Absolutely they serves good music. I don't think no one can disagree. They also have good, down-to-earth, home style foods. Which I really like. Drinks are reasonable. BUT th...

A beautiful place BUT, oh man, the service here is TERRIBLE! 2/20/2011

I'll start with the goods... Atmosphere... The Art Deco look is AMAZING. It's a beautiful bar. If I didn't have to deal with the bartender (although occasionally there is a competent person tending bar) and most of all the MANAGER I'd come much more often. I love to take friends here for ONE drink when I'm showing off my neighborhood's bar scene because it's such an aesthetic dichotomy. How so? While visually it is a stunning place, the experience from the service leaves one shaking their head in disbelief how people can be so UGLY! The bad... THE SERVICE. I once ordered a drink here, I was the only person in the bar, placed my money down, drank my drink(15 minutes), had to ask the tender to give me change (paid with a twenty) then had to wait over 15 minutes for change(closer to 20) while the bartender counted the drawer/read the newspaper/and went back to counting the drawer(i guess it was early and the draw needed counted but to stop and read the newspaper after asking for change? it was very much as though she wanted me to leave her to total amount of change as a tip), and when I asked about how much longer I had to wait for my change got accosted with some major attitude from the bartender. Did I mention I was the only person in the place? When people are in the joint the service is dismal and I use to just chalk it up to poor management of the bar. Now I see that most of the employees just don't give a damn about providing any sort of hospitable service. The staff has the attitude that it is a historical landmark and patrons should be so lucky to just to be there(but maybe they are right, even with the HORRIBLE service I continue to go). I've seen the manager yell and scream at people. I've even seen a lady walk out crying after having a heated and animated discussion with her. I've heard her bad mouth other jazz establishments(see below for a list of these other, better joints) in the neighborhood (during the bad mouthing she noticed me listening and even apologized for being so tacky but then went on bad mouthing). I've seen countless arguments about prices. The prices are very high($10 bucks for a shot and $7 for domestic beers, ouch), but then again so are several other bars in Harlem. I've never eaten here, and will never eat here because even the regulars tell me to stay way from the food(as qouted from a regular "I can eat crappy food if it's warm, but it's really had to choke down crappy food that's cold.") The music. WHile the music is the typical Harlem fare (enlightening to just fine), again it's the staff and MANAGEMENT that sucks the beautify out of aural vibes. It's the type of place that charges cover and then stacks on hidden fees (read the other reviews about gratuity and 2 drink minimum). For a better price and WAY BETTER service GO to any other spots in Harlem... (St. Nick's Pub and Shrine usually don't charge a cover. Minton's Playhouse, Bill's Place. P.J.'s usually charge a cover but don't try to gouge you and they're service is actually decent). Will I stop going to Lenox Lounge... Nah. I love the Art Deco beauty too much to let some sour attitudes ruin it. But every time I go (not that often, maybe 2-4 times a year) I forewarn my guests that this is most likely going to be one of the worse customer service experiences they will ever have. I always follow up Lenox Lounge with one of the previously mentioned alternatives so visitors don't get the impression that Harlem bars are run by egotistical, entitled bullies who treat their customers with spite and contempt. more


WE LOVE the lenox lounge, I used to patronize Lenox in the early 90's and i'm still going strong today. Love the atmosphere the crowd is nice and mature, the drinks are strong and the food is GREAT!! Lennox Lounge is a great institution!! I can see why its been around for so many years!! more


Me and my mother leave to enjoy a night out at The Lenox Lounge. We seat ourselves. We order our drinks then our food. We place our orders at 8:30pm only to have the food arrive an hour later. When my mother declines her food, the waitress arrives with her plate ANYWAY. I quickly tell the waitress Excuse me, she said she didn't want the food anymore, is this meal on the house? She replies, As far as I know. Good. I respond. My mother begins to feel better and begins to start eating. Enter the manager, a middle aged woman with dredlocks and a cut-throat business ethic. She sits at our table and begins to make excuses for the poor service that she is in control of...she explains that her kitchen only has one cook, and that her cook was busy trying to meet the needs of her busy establishment. . She offers no apology and instead blames the long wait on her waitress for failing to put our order in on time. As for the music which we are charged a cover for...the band takes long breaks and we are left to watch the pianist mingle with the crowd while we look around at other guests who are just waiting for the the last set so they can get it all over with. Finally the bill comes and my mother is charged for food she no longer wanted, and an 18% gratuity charge is included for service that didn't warrant such a tip. So if your looking for a night out, and you happen to pass the Lenox Lounge keep walking. Your wallet and stomach will thank you later. more

Great Jazz, Great Food, Good Times 2/16/2010

I am really surprised at the reviews below. It seems people are willing to pay 75 to 100$ to go to a pop concert, but can't shell out 36$ to see jazz! I stayed in Harlem for three weeks and went to the Lenox Lounge at least 3 times a week. The jazz on the weekdays was 10$ or sometimes a 16$ drink minimum and on the weekend in the zebra room $20 plus a $16 dollar drink minimum. Where can you go and get an amazing performance for $20, plus get drinks? I had a few of the signature drinks and there were so good. The Harlem Punch, Lady Sings the Blues, and the Chic Coria were my favorites. My business associates and I ate dinner here at least twice a week and the food was slamming. From Jumbo Shrimp to ribs to the collard greens, we were extremely satisfied. Not to mention the portions are huge. With an entree you get two side orders and cornbread. I found the staff to be inviting and held conversations with a few of the waitresses between sets. I am actually apalled at some of the reviews and cant believe how cheap people are! Again, this is a historic venue with the httest jazz in the city and you cant dish out less than 50$. Yet you would pay over 75$ to see Lady Gaga or Hannah Montana! I had the best time there and was honored to see REAL musicians! I will definitely come back to the Lenox Lounge next time we come to the city! Pros: Jazz, Food, Drinks Cons: ? more

worst treatment i've ever experienced at a restaurant 12/4/2009

Horrifying. I never make reviews, let alone bad ones. But I have to after last night. I was really excited to be going after living in Brooklyn for about a decade and not having been. My excitement soon turned to disgust after how poorly my friend and I were treated. We were there with members of the band. They treated the band also as though they were a huge inconvenience..One waitress was extremely rude to a member of the band when he would politely ask about the status of his food, which took 2 hours! Only half of the back area was full. They were understaffed. Everyone who worked there had mad faces and seemed miserable. My friend and I ordered drinks and food, (paying full price). The food took forever. And after being told it was ok to bring drinks from the front that we'd previously paid for, they charged us an additional $ 32 drink minimum. When trying to talk to them about it, they avoided us. The real kicker though was speaking to the upmost unprofessional caddy manager. Where did they get this woman??! I have worked in many restaurants and this manager doesn't understand the purpose of her position. The only way she can get away with such unprovoked, offensive and unaccommodating behavior is that the place is epic and isn't going to go under no matter how she acts? SAD. The legends would be heart broken if they saw the state of that place. more

Nice jazz venue but PRICEY 7/17/2009

I've never been to the Lenox Lounge until the other day, but I can't imagine it was always this HARLEM? Maybe they're trying to take advantage of the recent yuppification of Harlem, and jack up their prices? Their website says that there's a $20 "cover", plus a $16 "drink minimum". That means that whether you want to drink or NOT, you must pay $36 to listen to a set of music. But wait, it gets better...! They also AUTOMATICALLY add an 18% gratuity to your bill! My friends and I only ordered what the hell is an 18% gratuity for DRINKS?! Most folks tip $1 per drink, so instead of the waitress getting a $4 tip for our drinks, she got $8.50 dollars. When I said something about it to the waitress her reply was "well it says it on our menus" and she also said this is "standard practice at other venues". Well I didn't see it stated anywhere on the drink menu..or at least it wasn't very prominent, and who inspects a menu anyway for the fine print? I've heard of restaurants automatically adding in the tip for DINNER parties of SIX or more, but never for just drinks. I know you get ripped off at comedy clubs where they pull all this "minimum" B.S. and overcharge you, and at many supper/music clubs as well. I didnt' realize the Lenox also apparently fell into this camp? I think this is very sleazy on the Lounge's part. Why not just be straight up and say "if you want to come listen to jazz, the charge is $39 per person" (cover, drink minimum plus gratuity)? While I was very disappointed in their sleazy pricing policy, I have to say the venue itself was just perfect. The size of the place, the layout, the art deco decor....all very charming. Pros: Perfect size, good bands, nice ambiance Cons: Price more

Live in New York? Go Somewhere Else 5/6/2009

Went for "Happy Hour," but it wasn't until the bill came that we discovered that the sign advertising "$3 beers and $4 wines" did not apply to any of the actual beers and wines that we ordered. Service was slow, they ran out of everything and then we were left with a massive bill full of accounting tricks (came to about $12 a drink even during "Happy Hour") If you are looking for a Harlem experience more power to you, I'd recommend St. Nick's Pub or The Shrine instead. Harlem is generally not a cheap night out, though you never get watered down drinks and the scene is legit. Still, a night out shouldn't be a night of wresting with the waiters and the bill. Lenox Lounge is probably too used to serving tourists. Pros: Cool Atmosphere, Decent Jazz Cons: Bill Tricks, Bad Service High Prices more

Please don't go if you want a peaceful night worst service I ever got 3/7/2009

To be honest, I wonder why the rating doesn't have minus star, this place won't deserve even one star for me. Even I know how legend this place is, if they keep this bad shape, it'll be better to close before they damage their glory in the past. If you expect any kind of "service" at there, soon you will find that you are in the wrong place to get. They lost my credit card, call me a lier and call police officer to blame us. A only good point, music was good, but could've be more enjoyable, if we served earlier and can concentrate for the music. Show start 8:30, and why they let audience in exactly 8:30, even place seems ready around 8 o'clock. If drink only, it's fine, but we have to pay $20 music charge and minimum of $16. This $16 is very serious business for them, even we couldn't catch the waiter to order and end up with one $8 drink. you will see $8 and unused $8 on the bill with build in 18% service fee even you won't get any service. Wish you luck to get waiter first. But very funny thing, they are very quick to come over only when they ask us to "leave". I started wonder that might be a new way to cost cut, don't give customer enough chance to order and let them pay shortage, which maybe developed by testing water with innocent tourist. No wonder I didn't see any local people other than the family or guest of musicians. So at first if you are the tourist who are looking for somewhere where local people will go, this is not for you. The famous tourist spot like Village vanguard, blue note, you will find local music lover, which I go to, blue note, they might urge you to leave after the show, but they serve right. You can surely finish your food. Smalls is good to get friendly atomasphire and reasonable price with great music. Seems what they are trying to be another blue note, 3 shows at weekend, serve food, high-end price. But most likely they missed to train their employee to serve customer right. more

Unfare treatment to the employees. 1/23/2009

This is not a complaing about the food or drinks. This is a warning to anyone who might consider working here. STAY AWAY. Management will sometimes not pay their employees on time, sometimes making them wait two extra weeks for their paychecks. They have also taken out money from paychecks. more

The best place for a tasty, smooth, relaxing and joyful evening 10/7/2008

Great food, live Jazz music and the Zebra Room very cozy. Remembering the times when dancing, singing and having a cocktail was all good. A place where you can lounge and relax the evening away. A mature tall gentlelman wearing eye glasses, well dressed was a delight(I believe someone called him Mr.Reed). Thank you, I will visit again soon. more

Worst treatment of the customer I've ever seen 2/25/2008

I was going there on Sunday nights to participate in the open mike. I had heard of many people complaining about the staff treating them awful. I wound up being overcharged both for drinks and the cover even while management new they were overcharging. They refused to remove the overcharge. The music is great but management should be investigated by the attorney general's office. more


i walked into lenox lounge and knew it has change, for twenty year i have gone to this lounge, it was not uptown friendly. i could not get a seat, the staff did not help me. i see the writting has change for one way to another way. i quess i will not be going back to my neighborhood bar. change should be for everyone, old and new. more

Great food and Music 4/6/2006

I have lived in Harlem for 8 years but this place has the tastiest down south cooking in all of Harlem. I'm orig from mississippi so I know!! The music was EXCELLENT!!! I will definitely be coming back. The only thing I didn't like was that they were out of a lot of menu items. Pros: good food, great music Cons: shortage of food more

Great Soulfood at a reasonable price! 12/1/2004

My girlfriend and I were here Saturday 11/27/04, The food here is excellent. Rib and Seafood combo was the best I've had in a long time. I also had a side order of Mac and Cheese with Yams, very good. My girlfriend had the Rib and Crab Cake combo. Our barmaid made us very good drinks as well. The atmosphere of this place is very cozy and retro. Its not five star, but thats the good part about it. You don't feel pretentious. You want to sit back, relax, and chill. Its also a good place for couples and singles. Pros: Food, Drinks, Atmosphere more

A New York treasure 6/4/2004

I can't say enough good things about this place--if I weren't a poor grad student, I'd be here every single Wednesday night for the amazing no-cover jazz 6-midnight (2 drink minimum; on weekends the cover is around $20). The combos they book are talented, the decor is art deco at its finest, and the crowd a groovy mixture of locals, foreign tourists, students, and the musically devoted from all over the greater NYC area. Service can be slow when it's crowded, but the servers are always friendly. Located right next to the 125th Street 2/3 stop in a safe neighborhood, it's worth the trip if you love jazz and are looking for a stylish, laid-back, Old New Yorky vibe. Pros: Terrific music, Amazing atmosphere, Friendly service more

good music & good food, but... 5/4/2003

Absolutely they serves good music. I don't think no one can disagree. They also have good, down-to-earth, home style foods. Which I really like. Drinks are reasonable. BUT the weakest point for this lounge is probably the quality of people who work there. Bartenders and Barmaids are good, but I am not sure (really not sure) about the staff in the lounge (back room; room w/ piano). They are not placing enough numbers of people in the room; therefore, you won't get enough attention from wait staff. I go there very often because I like the music there. So far, I had really bad experiences twice in the past year. Which are both relates to the bill. Pay attention to your bill (item by item, tax and all) if you go in the lounge section and order something. Pros: music, atmosphere, food Cons: staff, payment/bill more

A Special Night in Harlem 4/10/2003

I have nothing but good things to say about this club. From the minute I walked in I knew that I found gold. Lenox Lounge definitely has the art deco look of days gone by and the Zebra room is especially inviting. I was at a club around the corner and upon overhearing the conversation at the next table I heard a conversation about a fantastic jazz group performing at the Lenox Lounge that was not to be missed. Well, that fantastic or should I say fantabulous group turned out to be the Danny Mixon Trio. I don't know when I enjoyed myself more than that night. Mr. Mixon is a musical genius who kept us finger popping and stomping our feet from the moment we sat down. Needless to say, by the end of the evening everyone seemed like old friends and we all left begging for more. To top things off we also enjoyed an affordable soul food dinner that was out of this world which made a very Special Night in Harlem. I must say that with jammin' music like that I will definitely be back to test the waters! more
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Menu for Lenox Lounge

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Owner Message

  • The Lenox Lounge with its distinctive art deco style and renowned Zebra Room was built in 1939 during the gang wars. Lenox Lounge and the Zebra Room are often a featured location in music videos (Luther Vandross, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Keith Sweat, P. Diddy, Quincy Jones CD cover and more), movies (remake of Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson, Double Platinum starring Diana Ross and Brandy, and Malcolm X, featuring Denzel Washington) and fashion layout and advertisements (Bride's, Gentlemen's Quarterly, The New Yorker, Essence, and O, The Oprah Magazine, Chrysler and G Unit Clothing Company). From locals and college students to patrons from Europe and Japan, Lenox Lounge has a diverse clientele and is consistently recognized as one of New York's most popular and best night spots.


  • The Scene
    This historic bar and jazz club is a study in unlikely harmonies. Sweatshirted locals and earnest college students sip old man-style cocktails to the gentle din of "Martin" reruns and contemporary R&B jukebox hits at the time-scarred front bar. But as the sunlight fades and the restored fin-bladed light towers bathe the Sunday best-dressed denizens in full deco splendor, it's not hard to imagine the club's heyday, when Billie Holiday held court in the Zebra Room. A renovation restored the beautiful tiled floor and mirrors of the oft-filmed art-deco interior.

    The Draw
    A Cab Calloway-elegant host greets guests and then ushers them into the Zebra Room to catch the buffet and show. With weekend jazz and Monday jam sessions continuing as ever before, the future of the Lenox Lounge seems safely assured.

  • 8/29/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Daily 12pm-4am
  • Payments:

    Visa, Discover, American Express, Diner's Club, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods:

    Harlem, Uptown