La Cour owners and longtime partners Janet Poth and Joseph Monley, who both turn 65 later this year, had plans to retire at some point, but after the pandemic hit, they decided it would be sooner than later. And so they won't reopen their South Broadway jazz club and French bistro, which they opened seven years ago.
Poth says that she and Monley had been considering selling the business, after riding the roller coaster of owning a restaurant/club.
“We were both finally very confident in how the venue was doing,” Poth says. “We were thinking, you know, it's such a good roll, to do one more year or do we not? So we were going back and forth on whether it would be 2021 or the end of 2020. But at some point, it had to happen.”
When they first opened La Cour (which means "the courtyard" in French), Poth, who'd lived in France for many years, wanted to have a spot with an old-world ambience, where the tables were close together and customers could spend a few hours talking to their neighbors.
“The idea was to have original art and to have live music, and not to have a cover,” Poth says. “The idea was making this as accessible as possible for people who might not go to a gallery to look at art. But if they're sitting at a table for three hours, they will look at it. And they might not be familiar with French wine, but we could make it affordable and easy and tasty.”
Although La Cour has closed, Poth is trying to help local jazz musicians by launching 100 Nights of Jazz this Thursday, May 15, with Classic Pianos, at 1332 South Broadway, which will provide a place for the musicians to perform as well the technical costs involved with streaming concerts. The virtual shows will take place Thursdays through Saturdays from 7 to 8 p.m. Poth has started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the costs.
The calendar for 100 Nights of Jazz will be on La Cour’s website. Poth says she’s planning to bring in players like Purnell Steen, Rico Jones, Rob Mullins, Jeff and Terri Jo Jenkins and more.
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