A live music venue inspired by the dimly-lit jazz bars of New Orleans is opening in Bedminster.
The owners of Cheswick Village salon-cum-bar Bessell Scotts are building on the success of their first venue to transform a former bank building on East Street that has lay derelict for more than a decade.
To accompany the live programme, Bessell Scotts Jazz Bar and Restaurant will be open for all-day dining with dishes on the menu set to include breakfast options, burgers and steaks.
Jodi Bessell, who runs Bessell Scotts with business partner Chris Scott, said the pair are “creating the kind of venue has long been crying out for”.
“Bristol has a really big jazz scene but there aren’t that many venues dedicated to the genre here,” said the 42-year-old.
“The building is in a very run-down state and there’s a lot of work to be done, but we’re certain it’s going to look absolutely fantastic when it’s finished and a great addition to Bristol’s music scene.”
Jodi and Chris have teamed up with well-known local event planners Hoggans Promotions, who will be responsible for sourcing the live artists to grace the stage.
They will look to put on as many as three live performances a week, showcasing both up-and-coming acts and household names.
When there is no live music on, performances from the genre’s greats from years gone by will be shown on a projector screen at the back of the venue.
Seating will be in the style of small candlelit tables, reminiscent of authentic New Orleans venues, and there will also be a mezzanine floor overlooking the stage.
“It’s going to be a really professional set-up and we hope jazz musicians from the region and further afield will be itching to play here once we get the doors open,” said Jodi.
Despite the fact the pair launched their first venue in October 2019, just five months before they were forced to close when the first national lockdown was announced, they said the Covid-19 pandemic has not deterred them from expanding.
“Thankfully we got off to a brilliant start at Bessell Scotts before the pandemic began, and we’ve been really busy since reopening for outside service on April 12,” added the jazz lover.
“If anything, the past year has made us better business people as we’ve had to become more resilient and learn how to cope with adversity.
“We’re so excited to get stuck in with the renovation work and bring this brilliant new venue to Bedminster.”
Jodi and Chris hope to get the doors open to Bessell Scotts Jazz Bar and Restaurant in September 2021.
Brian Hoggans, founder of Hoggans Promotions, added: “We are really looking forward to looking after all the live music at this very exciting new Bristol jazz venue.
“It promises to be pretty special.”