“I really wasn’t looking to expand anywhere, but when I first saw this space I got chills.” So says New York music venue impresario Michael Swier, 60, of his new Los Angeles outpost the Teragram Ballroom, which officially opened downtown on May 31.
Teragram principle partner Michael Swier posed in front of wallpaper featuring shimmering guitar pick shapes with the word “Teragram” on them made by Flavor Paper. The venue is named after Swier’s late wife Margaret Hannigan, who died of cancer in 2009 (“Teragram” is “Margaret” spelled backward) and was also his business partner. Teragram’s architect and designer Brian Swier (Michael’s brother) says the picks are arranged in an Islamic design pattern.
The Bowery Ballroom-esque main space was renovated with reinforced arches instead of columns, which means there isn’t a bad sightline in the house. It also features state-of-the-art sound thanks to longtime Bowery acoustical consultant Jim Falconer.
One of three dressing rooms in the backstage area also features its own loading dock. The venue is considering adding an outdoor area.
Swier says the secret sauce to all his venues is to “take care of the things you want to have when you go to a show” — hence the Teragram’s three ample-sized fully stocked bars. There’s also a cafe, which hosted a taco-themed opening party with the band Spoon.
A banquette in the adjoining bar is beneath a post-modern wallpaper design, which features a luminescent floral pattern complete with barbed wire and security cameras courtesy of Brooklyn’s Flavor Paper.
The Teragram’s bathrooms showcase black-and-white tile in an art deco motif with the letter “T” embedded throughout.
The Teragram’s new owners unearthed an arch above the venue’s doorway that coincidentally is identical to the one above the Bowery Ballroom’s entrance. The marquee went up with only two days to spare before its May 31 grand opening.