The Hollow at 79 North Pearl street in Albany has quickly become one of the most recognized venues for excellent live music, with a great history of hosting up-and-coming bands and nationally touring acts alike. The venue is quaintly nestled just doors down from Albany’s historic Lodge’s clothing store and The Palace Theatre, placed directly in the middle of Albany’s night life.
The venue was originally an urban retail store and a shoe repair shop. After renting out the Yorkstone Pub and turning it into the Bayou Cafe, the owners continued to expand further until the stage was built and the bar looked the way the owner’s had planned. Throughout the 2000’s, the venue quickly became known for cover bands that would bring in throngs of people every weekend, with a line out the door. Eventually, cover bands no longer brought the same crowd every weekend and the scene in downtown Albany began to quickly change. The owners saw an opportunity to change the venue for the better of the community and offer live shows that music enthusiasts would want to see. The long time owners sold the venue to close friends of their family and took over the booking for all acts at what would then on be referred to as “The Hollow.” The name is a nod to the area surrounding the venue which has long been referred to as Sheridan Hollow. After the change in management and name, the venue began hosting bigger and better acts. A variety of acts have played the stage at The Hollow including Break Science, Deer Tick, Brothers Past, The Heavy Pets, Jennifer Hartswick, Normal Instruments, Tauk, Lucid, Mister F, Wild Adriatic, Start Making Sense and The Black Mountain Symphony.
The venue itself is a great spot to catch music locally. The large bar set a few feet from the stage makes it easy not to miss the musical acts while quenching your thirst. All of the Hollow’s bartenders and waitstaff are friendly and personable making it a relaxed environment during happy hour, lunch, dinner or during a live show. The front patio is the perfect place during the warmer months to sit outside with friends even during times where there are no performances. The menu offered at The Hollow gives a wide array of options for whatever your appetite may be, also offering their different pairings of wine and beer for each meal. The bar itself is divided into sections, one section holds the stage and wrap around bar which can get pretty packed during a sold out show, there is a section with some tables and a pool table for those concert goers that want to see the music but not necessarily be within a large crowd of people, as this section can also get pretty packed during a sold out show. The third section is generally only used for dining guests and is rarely full of people during a live show, while a second bar in which you do not have to pay cover for the show to grab a few drinks with friends.
The venue is big enough to hold larger named bands, but also enclosed enough to make each show intimate between the artists and the crowd. If you live in the Albany area and you are looking for a great venue, some great drinks or even a great meal, make sure to check out The Hollow Bar and Grill.