For years Gail Harris and her husband Eddie nurtured a dream to create a venue that perpetuates and honors the genre of Jazz in a warm and cozy space and atmosphere where people could come and enjoy the music they love so much. For five years they talked about it, they looked for buildings and venues they could use to turn their dream into reality. One evening while they were returning to their car from dinner at a restaurant in Haddon Heights New Jersey, they saw a building with a for rent sign on it. They called and met with the owner and were given a tour of the facility. The building needed work but in their mind’s eye they envisioned a renovated facility that would suit their needs.
Mrs. Harris worked in corporate America and operated her own retail store in West Philadelphia for many years. She loved Jazz and always wanted to open a Jazz café. “This came about as a dream that developed five years ago, when we moved to Lawnside New Jersey, I love Jazz. My husband and I would go to certain cities and we would find the Jazz venues. We noticed New Jersey didn’t have that many Jazz venues. We kept dreaming about it, looking for locations, we saw a few places but they just didn’t suit us. Then one night when we were dinning at the seafood restaurant down the street, we saw this building was for rent. I looked at him and he said, ‘You know that dream you have, let’s make it a vision, let’s do it.’ From that date in January 2018 we came in we decided to rehab this place and turn it into a great Jazz place so people don’t have to go to Philadelphia or Atlantic City, they can come here and enjoy a good night of Jazz entertainment. I want to bring music to others I want to bring Jazz here” Mrs. Harris stated.
After attending council, zoning and planning board meetings they were given the go ahead to pursue their dream. “When my husband and I attended the council meetings, when we walked in to tell them what we wanted to do, I noticed we didn’t get any resistance or rejection.” It took six months of sweat equity and hard work, much of it done themselves along with their music director Freddie Cooper, but they renovated the building, got it to code and fashioned it into what they wanted. The building is located at 912 Kings Highway in Haddon Heights. The couple held their grand opening on April 6th
It is an intimate, cozy space BYOB. And the music has been fabulous. “We cannot cook the food here. We have a commercial prep area. We hire caterers to come in, their food is already cooked and prepared and they can store it in our refrigerator. I have about five to six caterers I use. I want to rotate the food and even when the caterers return they will not offer the same menu.”
The May the Jazz Never Stop Jazz Café is located on a commercial strip on Kings Highway in Haddon Heights. There is ample free on street parking and free parking in the elementary school parking lot in the next block a few yards away, behind the café and behind the buildings across the street. Currently they are open from Friday through Sunday but beginning in May they will be open Thursday through Sunday. Doors open at 6 PM. The first starts at 6:30; the second set begins at 9 PM, they close at 11. On Sunday they are open from 1-5 PM. The Harris’ have signed a two-year lease and they hope to be successful enough to expand their present location and eventually open another venue in the not too distant future. The couple are in the process of constructing their Website, it should be up and running by early May. To make a reservation or for additional information about the May the Jazz Never Stop Jazz Café call (856) 547-JAZZ (5299).
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