from The Seattle Times:
The last time someone tried to open a jazz club in Bellevue, it lasted all of seven weeks.
But that was almost 30 years ago. Craig Baker thinks it’s time to give jazz another shot.
On Friday, he is moving his popular weekend supper club, Bake’s Place, from Issaquah to a new million-dollar establishment in downtown Bellevue, where it will be open seven nights a week. The new boîte joins the revived Bellevue Jazz Festival and the monthly 10-year-old Eastside Jazz series in a troika that may finally give jazz a permanent foothold on the Eastside.
Some see Bake’s — and jazz itself — as a harbinger of urban sophistication, a natural evolution for Bellevue’s newly dense downtown core. Along with the Bellevue Arts Museum and the Tateuchi Center (in the planning stages), it can be read as part of the burgeoning aspirations of a place that has tired of crossing the lake for its cup of culture.
“It’s a city that’s hungry for more than restaurants,” Baker says of Bellevue.
It’s also a city that has grown exponentially. Thanks to intense condominium development, there are 10,000 people living in Bellevue’s downtown core now and Baker’s new club sits right on the edge of it, in the Columbia West Building at the corner of 108th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Second Street. Baker speculates that 30 to 40 percent of the patrons for his new club will come from the neighborhood.
Both he and Leslie Lloyd, president of the Bellevue Downtown Association (which presents the Bellevue Jazz Festival), think the new bridge toll on Highway 520 might help keep people on the Eastside at night, too.
Continue reading at The Seattle Times.