Los Angeles is getting a new key player in the live music industry. Spawned from the taste-making seeds of New York’s Mercury Lounge and the Bowery Ballroom comes Los Angeles’ latest live music venue in the downtown L.A. revival: the Teragram Ballroom. A joint venture between music impresario Michael Swier, the influential force behind the Mercury and the Bowery—and L.A. business owner, Joe Baxley of Broadway Bar and The Monty—the two have presented Los Angeles with a yet another impressive music venue.
“When I finally saw this space, I knew it was the right space,” shares Baxley. “It’s the perfect size, it’s the perfect sight lines, and I feel like this corridor of 7th Street, west of the 110 has a lot of potential.”
After being spotted almost two and half years ago as a viable property, and close to a 2.6 million renovation, the Teragram Ballroom has made its home in a 102-year-old, former silent-movie theater and has been given an A-list makeover in terms of sound and appearance. The room has been acoustically treated with a D&B sound system for both front of house and monitors, a Midas Heritage 3000 analog board and a GrandMA lighting board to go with the Elation lighting set up.
“Since there’s a demographic so similar to New York, the move to Los Angeles was made,” explains Swier. “With Teragram we’ve created a great venue with a great sound, and a great feeling to be in … the room was built so both concert-goers and bands will have a great experience in this room. Teragram will fill a void in Los Angeles for a quality room of about 550-600 capacity, and in this growing neighborhood of downtown L.A.”
Additionally, the Teragram Ballroom also features a separate bar space towards one side of the entrance, with the other side revealing a dining cafe. The exact menu is not confirmed, but Sweir has mentioned a Mexican cuisine option, and maybe sandwiches during the day. The bar will be a full service bar with liquor, beer and wine.
Judging by Sweir’s proven track record in music, the Teragram Ballroom is looking to be another success. Swirer first dipped his boots in the bar and live music industry with the opening of bar 2A in the East Village of New York. Fast forward 30 years later, and the bar is still alive and kicking, serving up good drinks and even free popcorn. It wasn’t until 10 years later that Swier opened up the now infamous indie venue the Mercury Lounge in 1994, followed by the Bowery Ballroom in 1998. Growing up listening to David Bowie, John Lennon and Led Zeppelin, Swier went on to study music in college and played in bands. It’s inspiring to see a man that started his career washing dishes and bartending, now has become a live music and bar industry powerhouse. We’re looking forward to what the future holds for Los Angeles show-goers and their experiences at the Teragram Ballroom.
The Teragram Ballroom will open its doors this Sunday, May 31 with a sold-out performance by Austin indie rock kings, Spoon. If you’re attending this show, get ready for an incredible experience.
Five Things We Already Love About The Teragram Ballroom:
1. Intimacy — It’s truly a perfect space where every spot holds a great view. Not too big, and not too small.
2. Take the Train — The 7th Street Metro stop is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. You can also opt to park in one of the many surrounding parking lots such as directly across the street of Teragram or around the corner at the Mayfair Hotel. There’s also plenty of street-parking if you’re lucky.
3. Women’s Bathroom — It has eight stalls! That is unheard of for a venue of this size. Normally us ladies are accustomed to waiting in the long lady line for two or three stalls. More stalls = less time away form the music.
4. Excellent Booking Agent — Without a doubt, Scott Simoneaux has exceptional taste in music. Spoon, Delta Spirit, Albert Hammond Jr. and the recently booked (and sold-out) Television show … c’mon! And that’s just naming a few. L.A.’s in for another heavy player in live music. Check out Teragram’s show calendar here.
5. Food — Get ready for some Mexican food during the concerts! Think tacos! It’s not set in stone yet, but it looks like Teragram will be serving up delectable delights from our neighbors down South.
6. Flavor Paper — No, it’s not like Willi Wonka’s flavored wallpaper, but it’s still pretty awesome. As soon as you walk into the foyer of the Teragram Ballroom, your eyes are greeted by some wild shimmery wallpaper emblazoned with guitar picks that read Teragram Ballroom. Get your own Flavor Paper!
7. Next To The Monty — If you’ve been to the Monty, you already know it’s a rad bar. Grab a drink before or after your show at the Teragram. That’s what we’ll be doing.
Interview Feature & Photos: Sandra Burciaga
From left to right: Michael Swier, Joe Baxley and Scott Simoneaux