Legendary jazz venue, Swingers Jazz Bar, opens its doors once again
Share this article:
Cape Town - After a more than 18-month hiatus, one of Cape Town’s legendary jazz venues will literally swing open its doors once again to welcome patrons who have been starved of musical entertainment.
Swingers Jazz Bar, which is located in Wetton, will host a “reunion” this Friday, a thank-you of sorts for long-suffering patrons who saw the club’s doors shut due to Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
Kevin Harris who owns Swingers says since the end of March last year it’s been a tough journey, trying to keep his business afloat while motivating his hard-working staff.
“It was very difficult for us, there were protocols we had to put in place. We opened up by selling takeaways to get our staff back working, fortunately for us all our staff are back. Our doors are open,” says Harris.
What has also helped his business was its niche positioning as a place for a more mature crowd.
He says his patrons have been very understanding, and are well aware and educated around lockdown regulations and Covid-19 precautions.
“Hopefully we are going back to Level 1, so that will mean a return to entertainment. The entertainers have been suffering big time. Hopefully on a Sunday we will create a space for musicians and all the takings that come through the door will go towards them,” says Harris.
Asked how he survived, Harris jokingly says he’s a “second-hand king” and that he says the skills that he had taught himself many moons ago came in handy during a time when many businesses went under.
“I’m a second-hand king. When I want to buy a chair, I go to an auction. I go according to my pocket, what I can afford.
“We don’t make the kind of money that people think we do. The main thing that helped us is that I didn’t owe people a lot of money and my staff came to the party, and the job became meaningful to them. The mature crowd have more disposable income, and there are less problems with the older people,” says Harris.
Of the reunion event on Friday, Harris says the legendary “N2” will entertain patrons from 4.30pm.
“Tomorrow (Friday) we’ll have a live band, it’s going to be a challenge for them to play music that won’t get people up and dancing. There will be Covid-19 protocols in place.
“There will be drinks on arrival and ladies are free from 4.30pm until 6pm. I’ve got Cape Town’s best bands,” said Harris.