The Middle East
472-480 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Capacity: Downstairs-575, Upstairs-194, The Corner- 60
Age Limit: 21 and up (depending on show)
Booking Information: Downstairs: email@example.com, Upstairs: firstname.lastname@example.org, The Corner: email@example.com, ZUZU: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Information: 617-864-3278
Description: The Middle East restaurant and nightclub is a well respected, historic live music venue that has helped to set the bar for mid-sized music venues, not only for Cambridge but the entire United States. With humble roots as a Lebanese Eatery, The Middle East has grown to be quite successful through the power of live music. Just another reason we, at Who’s the Band, like to say: “Make music your friend. It will never let you down!”.
The vibe is an exciting mix of worldly, psychedelic 80’s Rock and Roll decor and the intimacy of an industrial basement, house party show. You can almost taste the good times and good music in the air, and, just walking in is sure make any seasoned music lover’s mouth water with anticipation. It has a type of magic in the air. The same magic that we all felt at that first show that wetted our appetite to good music, and musical performances. The Middle East is sure to get you hyped!
Opening its doors in 1970, The Middle East was only a restaurant, gaining respect through its authentic Lebanese food. It wasn’t until 1975 that it could be called a music venue. Purchasing the adjacent storefront, the owners connected the two fronts, creating what we call today, “The Middle East Upstairs”. When The Upstairs was established, it was home to, mostly, latin, jazz and funk music as well as belly dancing. With a capacity of 194 fans, today, The Upstairs is perfect for smaller bands and musicians and has been rocking for the longest of all the stages in The Middle East.
In 1988, because of the masses of people wanting to experience The Middle East’s hall-of-fame atmosphere, the owners purchased the bakery on the corner and made it into another expansion stage. This was aptly named “The Corner” and has a capacity of 70 people. Because
of the quickly growing popularity of the venue, the owners decided to purchase an remake the bowling alley in the basement into a large music hall for the big names that had been looking to come through. In doing so, “The Downstairs” was born. With a capacity of over 500 people, The Downstairs is where we all go to see the big names today.
In 2001, The Middle East added “Zuzu”. Zuzu is an elegant restaurant there for anyone needing a nice meal before or after a show. Since 1970, The Middle East has grown into a highly respected venue, among musicians and fans, for having a great time and putting on a great show. It is highly recommended that you stop by for a show as it is a founding father in the mid-sized music venue game. It is wonderful to see music, both, contributing to the growth of this vintage venue but also to see musicians being supported for their talents. The Middle East is a perfect example of why we always tell people: “Make music your friend. It will never let you down!”. Stop by and see for yourself!
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