Hidden away in the heart of Midtown, Turntable Lounge is a trendy but casual Korean gastropub that radiates a welcoming and laid-back vibe featuring a high-fidelity custom sound system. It was founded by Kiyoung Lee-owner of Turntable Chicken Jazz and Turntable LP Bar & Karaoke-and new Partner Jeremy Seong, owner of the East Village's Thursday Kitchen. The lounge is the only spot where Korean Fried Chicken and signature cocktails hang out together under the pretense of staying sober while making a ‘happy wind’. You’ll be picking the right tracks to sing along to! And with all the trappings of retro-modernica neatly fleshed out in what we might call a vinyl-hardwood-clad speakeasy, this joint is anything but ordinary! Vintage turntables play original LP records in the background as you enjoy world-class fried chicken feasters. Turntable Lounge is definitely the spot to let loose, with tasty fried chicken, beer set to pumping beats, and the option of karaoke too.
The industrial-chic space was designed entirely by Mr. Lee, featuring concrete floors and walls, wooden tables, high ceilings, and a catwalk that displays his LP collection, which these days numbers over 50,000. Walking around the space, guests will find vintage rock concert posters from all of the icons (many of them signed), including The Beatles, Van Halen, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Marley. A photo of pioneering audio engineer James B. Lansing hangs on the wall opposite the bar, an homage to the creator of the speakers that fill Turntable with crisp, high-fidelity sound. Stacks of dormant high-end receivers and audio equipment are also placed decoratively around the space. Large projectors beam black and white movies and other graphics onto the walls, adding an element of otherworldliness to the experience.
The vibe is decidedly fun and casual, as there is no table service and food will be served on disposable plates. The menu features dishes meant for sharing and pairing with ice-cold beer; fried chicken is a specialty prepared in the traditional Korean style. Apart from its crispy fried chicken, Turntable is also known for its Shoestring fries smothered in sautéed kimchi and Applewood smoked bacon, stir-fried spicy pork tacos, fried oysters with katsuobushi, katsu sauce, and wasabi aioli. Beverages include a variety of canned and bottled beers and draft options that use the Bottoms Up system, which fills cups from the bottom up using a special magnet. A concise list of red and white wine by the glass, in addition to well-priced mid-range bottles, is also available, and cold sake by the cup. A full bar offers a compliment of creative cocktails, and slush machines allow for boozy frozen drinks.
Turntable Rock Café & Lounge features a rotating list of DJs spinning music ranging from '80s and 90s rock and pop to contemporary house and dance music. Weekly events are scheduled including karaoke nights, wine/sake promotions, and party nights.
The dress code is casual wear! So whether it’s for happy hour, date night, drinks on the town, a birthday bash, a last minute dinner, or just because you feel like it – they have you covered. Give them a visit, unwind, and indulge in some classic Korean comfort food and drinks!