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Jazzing up downtown

Once the Copper Top Lounge opens in downtown Grass Valley, the club’s owners hope many jazz and blues enthusiasts finally won’t have to trek outside of western Nevada County to get their mellow groove going.

Lorri Kohlmeister, Aaron Flores and Phillip Oyoung plan to open their establishment in about a month at the former Lucky Bar at 133 Neal St.

Kohlmeister, 43, views the new bar, which she acknowledges has had some crime troubles in past incarnations, as something the area is ready to embrace.



“There are a lot of professional people ready for this type of club,” Kohlmeister said. The area also boasts a healthy talent pool of jazz and blues musicians, she added.

But aside from some roadhouse blues occasionally at Chief Crazy Horse in Nevada City and occasional jazz at The Center for the Arts and Thursday Night Markets the area doesn’t have a consistent jazz and blues scene.




The club will be a place where people can relax and enjoy themselves, Kohlmeister said. It will be an intimate setting in a nearly l,100 square foot room below street level with alcohol and complementary appetizers, she said.

Owners want to look beyond the local area and pull in musicians from the Bay Area as well, Kohlmeister said.

The club’s prospects has Grass Valley Downtown Association leader Howard Levine expressing a cautious optimism.

“Our hope is there’s a group interested in quality music and a nice atmosphere,” Levine said. But it isn’t a big space that will bring significantly higher numbers of people downtown, he said.

Kohlmeister isn’t expecting the club to attract young people in their 20s looking for the typical club scene.

“I welcome any well-behaved, appropriately dressed individual,” Kohlmeister said. Generally, she said she expects that type of crowd will include people 30 and older.

No musical performers have been lined up yet, but Kohlmeister said she expects to have plans in place by the time the state Alcohol Beverage Control Board gives the bar the OK and renovations are completed.

A Thursday through Sunday live performance schedule is possible, Kohlmeister said.

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To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail gmoberly@theunion.com or call 477-4234.


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