Melody’s Piano Bar to Bring Nightlife Back to Lexington Avenue

Melody's Piano Bar to open in the former home of Lexington Bar & Books/Upper East Site
Melody's Piano Bar to open in the former home of Lexington Bar & Books/Upper East Site

MANHATTAN – The Upper East Side has no shortage of bars catering to twenty-somethings, just walk down Second Avenue and you’ll be inundated. However, if you’re just a little bit older, the options dwindle— which make the opening of Melody’s Piano Bar in Lenox Hill a welcome addition to the nightlife scene overpowered by establishments catering to a younger crowd.

Upper East Site has confirmed Melody’s Piano Bar will open in the space formerly occupied by Lexington Bar & Books— on Lexington Avenue near East 73rd Street— a cocktail bar that catered to the over-35 crowd. 

When Bar & Books closed, restauranteur Tom Martignetti and his brother Anthony— known for the East Pole restaurant on the Upper East Side — seized on the opportunity.

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“We always used to send our customers to Bar & Books after dinner, so I’m very familiar with the spot,” Martignetti told Community Board 8 during a Street Life committee Meeting last spring.

“I knew the landlord, so when the time came, I sort of raised my hand and said I’d love to take it over. It sort of fits in with what we currently do.” 

Lexington Bar & Books/Google
Lexington Bar & Books in Lenox Hill/Google

Despite being scheduled to open on April 1st, it appeared that work still needs to be done at the new piano bar when Upper East Site visited the location Friday, less than two weeks before the grand opening.

The large red ‘Lexington Bar & Books’ awning is gone, but little else appears to have been done to renovate the storefront— in fact, a broken Bar & Books plaque is still affixed to the wall to the right of the windows.

With the glass covered in paper to obscure any prying eyes, the only sign Melody’s Piano Bar would be moving into the space was a small handwritten sign to let job applicants know interviews would be held inside. 

Melody's Piano Bar to open in the former home of Lexington Bar & Books/Upper East Site
Melody’s Piano Bar to open in the former home of Lexington Bar & Books/Upper East Site

The new cocktail bar is meant to be a lot like the one it replaced— catering to older New Yorkers looking for a relaxed, upscale atmosphere— however, there will be one major change.

“We’re not going to have smoking,” Tom Martignetti told Community Board 8 last year, noting that the prior establishment was permitted to allow tobacco use inside.

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“The big difference is… we’re not going to continue that.” 

What Melody’s will have, according to Page Six, is a fireplace, art deco fixtures and Versace wallpaper– plus, small plates will also be available if you get hungry.

Melody’s Piano Bar will be open 6:00 pm to 2:00 am, Sunday though Thursday, and until 4:00 am on Friday and Saturday.

Update: Melody’s grand opening has been delayed until Monday, April 11th.

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