Paul McCartney's surprise June 13 show at New York's Highline Ballroom has turned out to be more than just a Stateside kickoff for his latest album, "Memory Almost Full." The Ex-Beatle's hour-plus set of classics and new tunes was also a coming out of sorts for the six-week-old, 700-capacity club.

The Highline Ballroom aims to be "the premiere showcase room in the city for bigger acts who wanted to do a smaller environment," according to owner Steve Bensusan. Since opening on April 30, it had already hosted some fairly high-profile concerts, including a May 9th set by Amy Winehouse and an opening night performance by former Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed. But Sir Paul McCartney's show, his first U.S. concert in support of his June 5th release, "Memory Almost Full," marked a booking and publicity coup for the venue.

"Paul was interested in doing an intimate show, like he did in London," says Bensusan, referring to a similarly structured concert that McCartney played at Camden's Electric Ballroom on June 7th in London. "Because of my close relationship with [promoter] AEG, they came to us, and they loved it. Last night [June 13] validated what we tried to create from the beginning and our vision for the club."

The independently owned club is competing against a number of New York City venues owned by larger corporate parents. In April, Live Nation rechristened the 1100 capacity Irving Plaza as the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza, while Blender opened a 650 capacity club in nearby Gramercy Square, also with Live Nation.

Bensusan is no novice, however; he also owns the B. B. King Blues Club & Grill and the Blue Note in New York City.