We've grown accustomed to long-standing food trends in this city: kale, craft beer and food trucks, and a huge boom in the last few years of pizzerias and Asian eateries. Something we haven't encountered is a sudden growth in niche spaces, like restaurants and music venues combined. But that's exactly what's happened this year.
Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club was the first on the scene in 2015, opening on March 13. The food, decor, and music pay homage to the bar's proximity to Five Points, a hub for live music back in the day. The bar hosts jazz musicians, boasts and impressive wine list, and the menu is inspired by famous jazz albums.
Just over a month later, Ophelia's Electric Soapbox opened its doors in Ballpark. The new hot spot is serving no-nonsense cocktail menu alongside creative worldly dishes. Like its three sister restaurants—Linger, Root Down, and Root Down D.I.A.—the restaurant is serious about its food. What sets it apart is the music. There is a massive stage in the lower level, almost recessed into the upstairs dining room space, visible and audible from every corner of the restaurant. Friday and Saturday nights are generally ticketed events, which you can book in advance on Ophelia's website.
Rounding out the threesome is Baur's Restaurant and Listening Lounge, which opened on April 24. A renovation, an out-of-towner's at the helm, an impressive charcuterie program, and the addition of music could be what makes this space, former home to Le Grand Bistro, successful. The massive space can be sectioned off, lending itself to intimate concerts, ticketed events that launched in the last couple of weeks.