There are so many opportunities to catch live music, comedy, and other entertainment locally, and one of the best ways to enjoy up-and-coming performers is at open mic nights. Bars and cafes often host these as a fun way to get the community together and showcase local talent. If you’re looking for somewhere to share your talents or enjoy a good show, keep reading for a list of North Jersey spots with open mic nights.
Pineapple Express Barbecue | 1 Lackawanna Plaza, Montclair
This local barbecue joint always has a happening event and music lineup, including an open mic night every other Wednesday. Pineapple Express is a great place to kick back for a casual dinner (we love the smoked brisket and buffalo cauliflower) and take in some live entertainment.
Silver Stream Studio | 594 Valley Road, Montclair
Photo Credit: Silver Stream Studio
Montclair’s podcasting studio Silver Stream hosts an open mic night on the second Thursday of every month that’s free and open to all talents, from poetry and storytelling to music and comedy. The studio also hosts a comedy-specific open mic every Sunday at 9PM, where $5.00 earns comedians five minutes of stage time. Participants who’ve met at these events will often band together to throw their own shows at the studio.
Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint | 575 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove
Photo Credit: Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint
It’s all about community at Cedar Bean’s, giving the patrons of Essex County a taste of small-town charm that feels reminiscent of Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls. Every Thursday evening from 7PM – 9PM, this quaint coffee shop welcomes patrons for an open mic night. Neighborhood musicians, poets, troubadours, and more take the stage for performances that go great with a piping hot beverage.
Club JJ | Rotating Locations in Essex County
Club JJ’s open mic series started as gatherings among close friends during the height of the pandemic and is now growing into larger-scale events picking back up this fall. The events mainly showcase vocalists and poets, with sign-ups open at the door. Along with entry, participants also receive a complimentary drink of choice. Details for the fall series will be announced soon on Instagram.
Healthy Habits | 718 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park
View this post on Instagram
Newly opened this May, Healthy Habits is a smoothie bar and cafe serving healthy, delicious eats. It hosted its first open mic night in early September and will continue to do so as part of its rotating series of monthly events, including game and movie nights. The open mics are free and welcome anyone looking to share their talents.
Ringside Pub | 379 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell
Ringside is part bar and restaurant, part music venue, spanning across two floors. The weekly event schedule is jam-packed, with live bands on Fridays and Saturdays and an open mic on Sundays. The pub also draws a big crowd for football on Sundays, hosting the games upstairs and live music downstairs — an epic duo for chasing away the Sunday Scaries.
Tommy Fox’s Public House | 32 South Washington Avenue, Bergenfield
View this post on Instagram
The Basement at Tommy’s is a newly opened performance space where locals can come for great entertainment and performers can share their talents with the community. The Basement will host open mics along with comedy nights, acoustic music nights, comedy game shows, one-person shows, and more.