This doesn’t come as much of a shock, just a disappointment…
Maxwell’s Tavern—the once and former preeminent force in the music scene on the west bank of the Hudson—no longer has music booked on its schedule, further fueling speculation that the world famous venue at 1035 Washington Street will change over yet again.
This comes about nine months after numerous national and local publications wrote their eulogies for the venue, as it had indeed been listed for sale. Since then, Maxwell’s has still managed to host some phenomenal events—notably the Hoboken Last Waltz and Sylvana Joyce’s “Heavyhead” album release.
However, the writing was on the wall when promoter/musician Dave Entwistle announced his departure from the venue. Entwistle’s bookings were upheld, but now they’re done, and nothing else is in the works, musically.
hMAG has reached out to the current owner of Maxwell’s. As of press time, we have not yet received a response. Numerous sources, including a social media post from an employee citing the “…the last nite of music at Maxwells….RIP,” corroborate the story—plus the notable absence of any gigs on the Maxwell’s event calendar, after Tuesday’s “The Office” Trivia Night.
The famous venue at 11th & Washington had long served as the pillar of the Hoboken music community. Its “closure” in 2013 saw the end of an era, where the back room hosted bands like Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Springsteen, The Feelies, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M, Yo La Tengo, and so many more under the management of former co-owner Todd Abramson. Maxwell’s Tavern, opened a few months later, but not before gutting the world-famous stage area. After a short-lived attempt to make the space a restaurant, the new incarnation realized it needed live music, and a stage was reinstalled.
Prior to the 2017 Hoboken Mayoral election, music at the “new” Maxwell’s was arguably the most divisive issue in town. Many bristled at the notion of trying to recreate anything that resembled the fabled Hoboken icon, after it had its grand finale. Others saw the reintroduction of music at such a storied venue to be an opportunity for the scene to continue to flourish.
That debate is now seemingly over… at least for the time being. In the meantime, live music is very much alive in Hoboken, with venues like Finnegan’s, Northern Soul, Turtle Club, Willie McBride’s and many more putting a spotlight on our area’s tremendous artists. Plus the opening of White Eagle Hall and numerous venues in Jersey City will still offer opportunity for anyone looking to see talented musicians here in Hudson County.
But Maxwell’s will be missed… again.