Jazz club to open on Broadway

By Joe Lambe

A jazz club opens this week on Broadway, infusing more music, martinis and high cuisine into modern Midtown.

The Broadway Jazz Club at 3601 Broadway officially opens Friday and will offer live music five nights a week.

Appropriately enough, a speakeasy operated there during the city’s jazz age and it is across from the historic Ambassador Hotel (soon to be renovated), where jazz age stars performed.

Pat Hanrahan, former Jardine’s general manager, will be a partner and general manager. Neil Pollock, managing partner and owner of the new club, meshed with Hanrahan and others to create it.

Midlife crisis led to it all, Pollock said Tuesday.

He tired of 20 years of work in his advertising firm, found jobs for his employees and closed it, he said. He intended to just open a neighborhood bar.

But Hanrahan said no, you want to open a jazz bar, Pollock said. “Hence the jazz club was born.”

Other principals include partner Steve Wachsberg and James Pollock and Margaret Ososky, Pollock’s uncle and aunt from Washington, D.C.

Ososky said she and her husband are retired federal foreign service workers and serious jazz fans who got involved after their nephew gave them a call.

Their investment advisor told them it was a risky business, she said, “and we said yeah, and we got into it anyway.”

On Friday,  the Dan Doran Band will perform. There will be a special happy hour with drink specials from 4 to 8 p.m.

Chef Richard Martin created the menu that is called a take on Midwestern comfort foods unique to Kansas City. It includes things like pecan crusted tilapia, the Broadway jazz steakburger, steaks, seafood, pasta, sandwiches and salads with prices from $10 to $30.

Drinks include 10 signature cocktails and martinis with names like the Ella Fitzgerald, the Cab Calloway and the Billy Holiday.

Tonight, prior to official opening, the jazz bar is doing a charity event with the UMKC music conservatory for the Friends of Jazz group. The Dominique Sanders trio will play with Sanders on bass, Brian Steever on drums and Mark Lowrey on piano. The club is requesting a $25 donation at the door.