Are Millennials Leaving the Nightclubs Behind?


Why are nightclubs across the USA reporting their worst numbers in years?  One word – millennials.

That generation that was born between 1977 and 1994, that grew up with cellphones and social media, and in record numbers, favors experiences over material things.  In other words, the group that nightclubs salivate over.  So why is attendance down at nightclubs from coast to coast?

Multiple studies show millennials are seeking their entertainment elsewhere.  A survey by ULI/Lachman Associates show that only slightly more than 60% of all millennials spend time at nightclubs. Of that 60%, only 25% spend time at nightclubs more than once a month.  And then, it’s typically for a special occasion, or featured performance.  Only in tourist meccas like Las Vegas and New York City is the nightclub world faring better.

According to another report issued by IBIS World Bar Business & Nightclub Business Industry, bar and nightclub revenue fell 9.3% in 2009 following The Great Recession.  While other segments of the entertainment industry have been able to climb back out of that hole, nightclubs are still suffering.

Other factors include a difficult job market for millennials in recent years, coupled with a growing market for social engagement and coupling on apps like Tinder.  The need for face-to-face meet up spots is just not as necessary for this generation.  Instant gratification has moved into the social space, making immediate swipes and selfie approvals the new normal.

Fortunately, the interactive entertainment industry, which offers a higher degree of customized involvement and personal choice, rather than the primarily passive experience of most nightclub atmospheres, is benefitting from an increased market share of millennial customers.

At SHAKE RATTLE & ROLL Dueling Pianos, 2015 has brought in record numbers of customers in the 21-38 age demographic, from birthday groups, bachelorettes and girls’ nights attending the ongoing Saturday night Dueling Pianos shows, and bookings for private events, where the coveted millennial market is looking for an activity that gives them more control and engagement.

With a flexibility in music options that include current country, top 40 and hip-hop, Dueling Piano bars seemed poised to appeal to this plug-in-and-play generation, who no longer needs to head to the disco to hear the latest hits.


The End of Tipping???


Earlier today, New York restauranteur Danny Meyer, announced that he is ending tipping at all 13 of his restaurants, beginning in November.  These venues include the Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern, two of NYC’s most revered eateries.

While some restaurants around the country have instituted various measures to remove tipping, this is the largest, and highest-profile restaurant group to announce such a measure.  To provide the extra compensation to the staff, menu prices will be raised.  According to Meyer, this will cover the loss of tip income to floor staff, while also providing a income boost to his kitchen workers, whose pay in the past few decades has not risen in step with tipped employees.

“The gap between what the kitchen and dining-room workers make has grown by leaps and bounds,” Mr. Meyer said. During his 30 years in the business, “kitchen income has gone up no more than 25 percent.”

“Meanwhile,” he added, “dining-room pay has gone up 200 percent.”

One of the motivations behind the plan was the culture barrier between American and European diners.  Too often, service staff would lose their gratuity simply due to the misunderstanding of foreign visitors who were unaccustomed to adding a tip to the check, when back home the service charges were typically already included.

With such a high-profile move, what will the repercussions be throughout New York City?  Will other restaurants follow suit?  And can a trend like this extend beyond the dining market, and into bars and live music venues?

While the piano bar and Dueling Pianos markets do not typically face these concerns, and currently do not see a huge percentage of European customers, only time will tell if this venture is a renegade action, or the start of a new dining attitude.  Stay tuned!

Kurt Cobain Covered This Famous Song…and No One Knew He Did It!

Newly released today on Spotify, this previously unheard cover of The Beatles’ AND I LOVE HER, was recorded by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, unbeknownst to his family, band, or management.  Unearthed by filmmaker Brett Morgen during his research for the documentary “Montage of Heck”, he said, “”Nobody in Kurt’s life — not his management, wife, bandmates — had ever heard his Beatles thing,” the director told Rolling Stone. “I found it on a random tape.”

Now you can enjoy all the grungy moodiness of Kurt’s adaptation:


Let’s Do The Time Warp…Again! Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast Reunites for 40th Anniversary!

On yesterday morning’s TODAY show, on NBC, some of the original cast members of the 1975 (!) movie reunited to chat about the making of this iconic midnight movie.

Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, rockstar Meatloaf, Patricia Quinn, and Dr. Frank-N-Furter himself – Tim Curry, all gathered to reminisce about the film that would become the longest running theatrical release in history.  Not bad for a project that began as a small cult musical.

The filming was arduous – Sarandon caught pneumonia during production.  They shot in a house that had no roof, during cold, leaky winter months.

And how did Curry arrive at the now-famous ‘sweet transvestite’ characterization of the Doctor?  Originally, the accent was going to be German, but when he overheard a British woman speaking on the bus, he decided to fashion the character after the Queen of England.

And why are so many people still Time-Warping, forty years later?

“The thing that resonated for me more than anything was, ‘Don’t dream it, be it,’ which was a really good idea,” Curry said. “Really good slogan.”

Added Sarandon, “I’ve had so many people come up to me and say that film helped them through a dark time.”