Sun-Thu, 4pm-3am; Fri-Sat, 4pm-4am
5pm-8pm; $4 well, draft and house wine
L at Bedford Ave.; J, M, Z at Marcy Ave.
Only a few blocks from the art-school monoculture of Bedford Avenue, Zebulon Cafe Concert is a dark, glittering, entirely different world—an authentically bohemian boite better suited to the Boulevard St. Germaine. Under dim streetlamp-style globes, a casual, congenial, international crowd snacks on hummus and chorizo while toasting at tables with a glass of Lillet or one of the reasonable reds from the Cotes du Rhone. The small, L-shaped room's décor includes an antique tin ceiling and dark mirror behind the bar, set off by old LP covers and posters of Miles, Monk, and Mingus—complementing the main event, nightly jazz or world music on the undersized stage. Owned by two Gallic music lovers who spin vinyl rarities from their own collection between sets, Zebulon never charges more than a $5 cover (and some shows are free) for a serious roster of artists that has included saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and cornetist Graham Haynes, plus salsa, zydeco and Afro-Brazilian musicians. Instead, a tip basket winds its way across the tiny, packed dance floor as revelers finish their rounds and decide to stay for the late set.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.