While it lost a bit of its broke-down charm in the 2006 move to its current digs, the Velvet Lounge still offers a sense of the familiar.
Located around the corner from its original location, the storefront jazz club still sports its distinctive octopus-style chandeliers, and patrons can sit in many of the old bar's tables and chairs. The mysterious topless woman painted on black velvet now hangs in a place of honor…behind a velvet rope.
The current space proves that change isn't always bad. Newly framed photos of local jazz legends like Ken Vandermark, Malachi Thompson and club owner Fred Anderson hang on the blue and green walls, trimmed in metallic gray. The polished wooden bar emanates a classic style that lends the otherwise modern construction a historic flair.
But the spirit of the old club is in the music and the Velvet still features live jazz that tends toward the experimental. Sightlines are good all around, whether you're sitting at the bar or way in the back. The cover on weeknights is $10, with Fridays and Saturdays costing about $20. Sunday is a bargain at just $5.
Beer comes in bottles, with domestics starting at $3, imports around $4 and wine at $5 a glass. Most cocktails are available for $5-$7, and soft drinks cost $2.50.
Centerstage Reviewer: Scott Smith