Pianist Envy: A New LGBTQ+ Piano Bar in Jersey City

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Less than a month after Hoboken was given a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign {HRC} Municipal Equality Index {MEI} in relation to its LGBTQ+ laws and policies {for the second year in a row!}, a new LGBTQ+ piano bar is calling Jersey City home.

With the Mile Square and Jersey City positioned as two of the most LGBTQ+ friendly areas locally, it’s no wonder that Pianist Envy saw an opportunity in downtown Paulus Hook to turn a space that’s been redeveloped several times into a hot-spot with happy hour specials, a welcoming and inclusive environment, and of course, live piano performances. Keep reading to learn more about Pianist Envy, a new LGBTQ+ piano bar at 100 York Street.

pianist envy piano bar jersey city

{Photo credit: @pianistenvynj}

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What to Expect

Although already soft-opened at 100 York Street, Pianist Envy will be celebrating its official grand opening on Thursday, December 19th. The owners and team — which includes Elene Food Group and owner Michael Billy — behind Pianist Envy transformed the former Los Dos location into part-piano bar, part-restaurant with gastropub-esque bar-fare and full-menu dinner options.

Of course, we can’t forget the massive emphasis Pianist Envy will put on music. If you think this is just another piano bar that only takes Billy Joel requests after 11:00PM — think again. Pianist Envy will feature a talented line-up of waitstaff who will not only take your order and bring your food but will also sing as they do so.

“As a local, I wanted to celebrate our vibrant local performing artist scene and our LGBTQ+ Community,” said Billy. “Queer piano bars are a rich part of history that have brought our communities together in song for decades. I’m so proud to bring a piece of that history to Jersey City.”

The Background: 100 York Street

pianist envy

{Photo credit: Google Maps}

The location, 100 York Street, has seen several reiterations of different businesses in the past few years. Let’s start with its most recent endeavor: Los Dos.

Regulars of the once Los Dos will remember the Mexican restaurant for its small and welcoming cantina vibe, shared family-style plates, and of course, the Mahi Mahi tacos. With reasonable prices and crave-able Mexican food, many Jersey Citians expected the eatery to stay in town longer than it actually did — just a few months.

Of course, no one business at 100 York Street has lasted too long. Before 100 York was Los Dos, it was The Royal and before that, it was Lisbon.

In 2018, the space at 100 York Street transformed from Lisbon — a Portuguese eatery serving steaks, seafood, and a small outdoor seating area —  to The Royal, a gay bar owned and operated by Paul Cate and George Makrogiannis of the next-door Buddy Who’s. But by March 2019, The Royal had switched its concept again, this time reopening as Los Dos. A few months later and 100 York has returned to its LGBTQ+ roots, one of its earlier concepts.

Hopefully, 100 York has more luck this second time around as another LGBTQ+ bar. With live musical performances running like clockwork every night at 8:00PM {and happy hour specials on top of that!}, Pianist Envy could very well be the next big LGBTQ spot in downtown JC.

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The Vibe + Atmosphere

piano bar jersey city

Jersey City’s first LGBTQ+ piano bar will feature the musical stylings of resident pianist Michael McAssey, a three-time nominee of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets Award for best male vocalist. In addition to his three nominations, McAssey also won the award once, back in 1988.

Pianist Envy Piano Bar joins a legion of other LGBTQ+ bars in the area including Six26 {at 128 Christopher Columbus Drive}, Valetodo Nights {at 1300 Summit Avenue}, and Pint {at 34 Wayne Street}.

Pianist Envy is already open, but the grand opening is happening on December 19th — you can follow them on Instagram for updates, upcoming events, and specials.

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Written by:

Stephanie Osmanski writes honest things about health, the planet, and being a woman. Her words have appeared on Business Insider, Parade, Eat This Not That, Dogster, Scary Mommy, Green Matters, Parents, Seventeen, Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, and more. Her articles have been syndicated on World Economic Forum, MSN, MSN UK, and MSN Canada. In her free time, Stephanie and her registered therapy dog, Koda, volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.


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