Hiro Ballroom is located on 371 West 16th Street, Manhattan, on the corner of 16th Street and Ninth Avenue. It is part of the large Maritime Hotel there, which includes a hotel, restaurant, and bar. The actual venue is the downstairs bar, whose entrance recently moved from the 16th Street entrance to the one around the corner on Ninth Avenue. Just west on 16th Street is Highline Ballroom, while to the east is Webster Hall and Irving Plaza.
Down either set of stairs (the 16th Street entrance is sometimes used to let people out) and through a corridor leads one to Hiro Ballroom proper, at either side of the stage. What Hiro Ballroom most looks like is the Japanese bar at the end of Kill Bill, Vol. 1. Not only are there Japanese lanterns dangling from the ceiling, and Asian-themed artwork (and beer), but also everything is on low levels, whether benches, steps, or the stage, only a foot off the floor (and added for concerts). Everything is made out of dark, thin wood, while the light show is like a Japanese discotheque – there is even a carved dragon’s head above the stage, which can even spew forth smoke. Bars are located on either side of the low stage floor, with rather poor service (especially considering the posh nature of the place/cost of drinks).
Hiro Ballroom is only occasionally used as a venue for concerts. Hiro has done its own event-planning, mostly DJ-dance nights, but has also been used by Bowery Presents (which also used Webster Hall and other places). The acts can favor electro-dance or singer/songwriter, but other times seem more booked out of necessity for a space. The classy nature of the space can work against or with an act, depending on the act’s style.
371 West 16th Street (Corner of Ninth Avenue and 16th Street)
A, C, E & L trains to 14th Street/6th Avenue. – walk 1 block west on North side of 16th street
1, 2 & 3 trains to 14th Street/7th Avenue – walk 2 blocks north on 7th Avenue, 2 blocks west on North side of 16th street
F, L & M trains to 14th Street/6th Avenue – walk 3 blocks west on North side of 16th street
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R & M trains to Union Square – walk 5 blocks west on North side of 16th street
-Mobius Band, July 19th, 2007 – photos