West Village piano bar Marie's Crisis, a beloved spot for musical theater lovers across the city, announced this week that it will be reopening with live indoor performances starting next week.

The bar, which is renowned for its singalongs, says that there will only be 15 people allowed inside at socially distanced tables when it reopens starting next Monday. It will be open for indoor seating from 4 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 1 to 10 p.m. on weekends, as per the earlier curfew on restaurants and bars in the state.

They tweeted, "We will be mandating social distancing, temperature checks, contact tracing, plexiglass dividers, and mask-wearing when you leave your table to use the restroom or tip your pianist! The new Marie’s Crisis experience will prioritize safety alongside the showtunes and camaraderie."

In addition, they have upgraded their air filtration system, are encouraging mask wearing while singing (but not mandating it), have closed off the bar from patrons, and have installed a physical barrier between the pianist and crowd "to allow the pianist to sing without creating a potential for community spread and to protect them from the same."

"We have spent that past two months making sure that all guidelines for reopening under New York state guidelines were carefully followed, and the owner and staff worked together with management for additional concerns for our reopening regarding our space," Kenney Green, one of Marie's longtime pianists, told Gothamist. "We are the last piano bar to reopen, but we feel that taking that time to observer other bars in person—and a couple of our staff members also work at other piano bars—gave us an opportunity to see what they were implementing and adopt these policies so we don't get it wrong and do the absolute best we can."

This announcement comes amidst the rising COVID infection rates across the state and country, and the possibility that all indoor dining may be shutdown in the coming weeks. Add to that the fact that the State Liquor Authority has a rule prohibiting all live indoor entertainment except "incidental" music.

According to the SLA's guidelines, "This means that advertised and/or ticketed shows are not permissible. Music should be incidental to the dining experience and not the draw itself."

Green told Gothamist that Marie's Crisis isn't a performance venue, so they believe they are in the clear on that count. "That is not our status," Green said. "Just like Brandy's, Don't Tell Mama and Duplex, who have been open for months, we are a bar with incidental music that happens to be a piano. We don't have set showtimes and the like. So we do not fall into that entertainment category."

Here's a typical pre-pandemic scene from Marie's Crisis, from 2017:

Green said that staff would "strongly" encourage patrons to wear their masks while singing. He added that many of their employees needed to come back to work because they have not been making much from streaming and other fundraising measures: "As independent artists in venues such as restaurants or this, we don’t all qualify for unemployment which is tied into the stimulus checks that were distributed," he said. "With that said, and with other venues such as ours open, we needed to get back to work while we were allowed to. If the government mandates the indoor options close, make no mistake we will heed all rules."

Marie's Crisis closed in March because of the pandemic, but has been operating as a performance venue through livestreaming sets from their regular pianists via their Facebook page for months now, which has garnered them tens of thousands of followers.

Update, 7 p.m.: Here's a video showing how they have prepped the indoors:

While Marie's is getting ready to reopen, another NYC staple announced that it would close permanently: Jazz Standard, which has been operated inside of Danny Meyer's Blue Smoke BBQ since 2002, has shuttered along with the restaurant.

"We have explored every avenue to arrive at a different outcome, but due to the pandemic and months without revenue — as well as a lengthy rent negotiation that has come to a standstill — we've reached the disappointing conclusion that there is no alternative but to close Jazz Standard and Blue Smoke Flatiron," the owners said in a statement. "The current situation surrounding the pandemic, including the regulations for restaurants and live music, make it impossible to maintain our quality and continue to 'set the standard.'"