“There’s a lot of history in this place. It was formerly a carriage house and then a garage. Later it became a comedy club and still later Circle Rep, a theater company, was here.” It’s David Coss talking, an ebullient bartender, singer and booking manager for The Garage, a restaurant-cum-music spot on Seventh Avenue South and Sheridan Square, in the heart of a bustling, multi-cultural part of the West Village. Slightly more than a decade ago it was opened by its owners, Mary Jo and Bob Rinalo, who soon thereafter added music to their menu.
“I’ve worked here for nine plus years,” reports Coss. “We started booking a couple of people early on for brunch mostly. One day [singer/pianist] Dena DeRose and [saxophonist] Virginia Mayhew were playing. They knew I wanted to sing and they invited me up to do a tune.” The manager was impressed, raved to the owners and, in classic discovery fashion, suggested to them that Coss sing on Sunday nights, which he’s been doing ever since. Coss seemed a
natural to take over the music bookings, which were formerly a part of the general manager’s duties. It’s a complex music schedule and to keep it under control, Coss says, “It needs babysitting everyday.”