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Java & Jazz Café seeks to offer live entertainment seven nights a week
Full breakfast lunch and dinner menu also featured
By Michael Summers
Fort Wayne Reader
A new restaurant/music venue in the Avant-Garde Gallery on 1301 West Lafayette street hopes to become the premier spot for local jazz lovers and fans of live entertainment.
Owned by Cornelius Thomas and Rebecca Fitzgerald, the Java & Jazz Café will be open from 6 am until midnight, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a full menu which Thomas describes as sort of “meat and potatoes” with a few gourmet items thrown in there. “For breakfast, we’ll have everything from pancakes to grits, eggs, bacon,” Thomas says. “Plus, sandwiches, soups, and salads…” They’ll also have a huge menu of coffee drinks, including lattes and espressos, plus full-service catering.
Besides the food, what the owners hope will be the real attraction of the new café will be the entertainment. They’re hoping to offer something live every single night of the week. “Our vision is to have live jazz entertainment every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night,” says Thomas. “Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we’ll have poetry readings, open mic, and comedy.”
Thomas says the musical entertainment will primarily be local, though he also plans to import some acts from the surrounding area.
Thomas has had experience in the café business before. He previously owned the Coffee & Toast Café in Fort Wayne, and before that, he ran an arts center in downtown Indianapolis where he offered a café/restaurant with live concerts, as well as renting space to local artists. While the Java & Jazz Café won’t be renting space to local artists (the Avant Garde building already has a gallery), Thomas says he envisions the new establishment as having a similar kind of relaxed atmosphere, where people can mingle, check out gallery events, and hear live music. “Fort Wayne is lacking live entertainment on a consistent basis,” he says. “You can come to the Java & Jazz Cafe, and there will be live entertainment almost every single night. We’re also going to have a cyber café set-up. So it’ll be something geared to all ages, a relaxed comfortable atmosphere, and a chance to check out some local artists’ work.”
Thomas is also planning a television show from the Java & Jazz Cafe, which he hopes to start sometime in April on UPN. Hosted by NewsChannel 15 anchor Terra Brantley, the show will air Fridays at 11 pm and Sundays at 12:30 am as The Breakfast Club, and feature a different local musician or artist every week.
Java & Jazz Café
1301 Lafayette Street