Tuesday, March 03, 2009

St. Louis Jazz Cafe to open
Saturday, March 21 with Erin Bode

Downtown St. Louis' newest jazz venue, the St. Louis Jazz Cafe, has set the date of its grand opening for Saturday, March 21, with singer Erin Bode as the featured entertainment. The club's opening night bash will include a "Happy Hour" from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., dinner service beginning at 5:00 p.m., and two sets of music from Bode and her band, exact times TBA.

The Cafe, which has been the subject of a couple of previous posts here at St. Louis Jazz Notes, also now has a Web site at http://stlouisjazzcafe.com. On the home page, you can see a small photo of the bar/restaurant's interior, which looks quite nice, but for the most part, the site still appears to be a work in progress. For example, while the menu page says that the club's fare "combines classic American standards with a French/Creole influence associated with New Orleans" and will "reflect the migration of of the food and the music, from New Orleans to Kansas City, to St. Louis to Memphis, to Chicago to New York," the link to the actual menu isn't working yet.

Similarly, the only musicians listed on the calendar page are Bode for the grand opening, and singer Donna Marie Moody on Saturday, March 28. The home page does say that the club will feature live music on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and at Sunday brunch, which will run from 10:00 a.m. to either 2:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m., depending on which page of the site you're viewing.

(Presumably, little glitches like this, and the misspelling of the word "tradition" in the headline on the "entertainment" page, will get cleaned up in the near future as the site gets fleshed out. However - if I may put on my Internet media-critic hat here for a second - that still won't make up for the fact that the site's designers chose to build the whole thing in Flash, which makes it impossible to link to anything other than the home page. Apparently, it's not so good for search engine rankings either, as the site doesn't show up until the second page of results for a Google search on "St. Louis Jazz Cafe." Web designers, please note: Flash is great for animation, but not so good as a way to build entire sites.)

Anyway, based on the number of search engine hits StLJN gets on a weekly basis for variations on the phrase "Sunday jazz brunch," having music on Sundays could prove to be a good draw right out of the gate for the St. Louis Jazz Cafe. Also, there's no doubt that there's presently a void in the market for live jazz in St. Louis left by the closings of venues such as Finale Music and Dining, Cookie's Jazz and More, and Crossings Taverne and Grille over the last year or so. Here's hoping that the St. Louis Jazz Cafe's musical lineup will help fill some of that void, and when more information becomes available, we'll have it for you right here.

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