Sunday, October 28, 2007

A bright spot in downtown nightlife: J-Alan's

It's hard to believe J-Alan's is only two years old. They are celebrating the birthday next weekend.

In reality the space, as bar, is older. Back when I moved here in '87/'88 this was called the City Club or City Cafe. It was a very upscale cocktail lounge with easily the best interior in Dayton for a drinking establishment. Designed by local award-winning architect Dale Smith, the place had a sort of Richard Meier/New York Five aesthetic, but not in white. Instead it was in dark green and with warm brass and wood trim accents (including a wood wine rack over the back bar), plus a wall of framed theatrical and art posters and Playbill covers (a sort of premonition of the future Schuster Center?).

The City underwent changes in ownership & clientele, and over a decade of hard use transformed the space.

Bits and pieces of the original interior remain, however, including the brass bar, aspects of the ceiling treatment and the big framed "Freddys under the arches" photo, hiding the electrical panel.

But that was then and this is now. J-Alans has become yer humble hosts favorite post Schuster performing arts event "after-the-show" cocktail lounge. The place is kitty-corner across Ludlow Street from the Schuster stage door, and certainly livens up a somewhat dead part of downtown.
There is a stage area in front, as J-Alans has become a good venue for live music. They also host the Brown Street Breakdown blues jam on Tuesdays. The pix below was from the Reggae Fest afterparty, so they had a larger group of players, so moving out into the floor area a bit:
Great mix of folks here and an active, happening feel to the place.
The bartenders usually don't dance on the bars, but if it's a good night you never know....
(for more pix of this particular evening at J-Alan's click here)

1 comment:

Kevin said...

That's Katie dancing on the bar. I only know her from Tanks's when she waitressed there. She cannot be contained.