Redefining the Jazz Club ‘Happy Hour’

Any Cairo Jazz Club old timer has seen the bar go through two major renovations, a number of entertainment experiments and a slew of fabulous live bands–building a reputation as the place to find new bands, to jam with Cairo’s best musicians and to gather for a night of free shots and smokey fun. Now Cairo’s most creative and resilient night spot has decided it’s time for a program revamp.

Arrival time for a night of Jazz Club partying is normally 11 PM. Before that the venue is usually empty. It’s a good time to come and make sure you get a table or chat with friends before the wild rumpus begins.

But not for long.

The Jazz Club is spending it’s creative energy this year on the early evening, targeting those who would like a beer and a bite after the work day or the pre-party dinner set who want great food, live music and good cocktails. Although the Jazz Club has often tried to put their "happy hour" on the map, banking solely on the buy-one-drink, get-the-next-one-free plan, it has never fully caught on.

Al-Masry Al-Youm passed by for a preview tasting of the new menu–dinner and drinks–and we were thoroughly impressed. The Jazz Club has booked themselves a brand new chef with a fusion menu that–despite seeming too chichi for the heavy-duty beer-drinking set–will hypnotize your palette. They have also decided that their stage, now a spot any new band would kill for, will be available for up-and-coming bands to seduce the management with early evening dinner sets.

With the lights up and the volume down, evening guests at the Jazz Club will get to hear the bands that haven’t yet made it to the spotlight. As they listen to these up-and-comers, they can dine seared tuna on couscous with dates and arugula, marinated in-house-cured salmon and tuna sashimi plate, or a chicken burger on homebaked focaccia. They can finish up the meal with tri-color chocolate raspberry bites or the fluffiest cheesecake that has ever set crust on a Cairo plate.

If Jazz Club-goers are just in the mood for some snacks with their drinks, they can pair fresh baked bread with an artichoke sourcream dill dip or a goat cheese and white chocolate dip drizzled with honey and pistachios. Or order the ricepaper salmon rolls. Those who are put off by complex flavors and a lack of grease need not fear. Pizzas, potato wedges and burgers will remain on the menu–if slightly altered to bring out fuller flavors.

The food menu remains hidden in the kitchen for now, but the new cocktails are already available. Highlights include a Grand Mimosa bubbling in an uncharacteristically Jazz Club champagne glass and a mango ginger margarita with a strong kick.

Skeptical of our assessment? Check it out for yourself. The menu tasting launch party is slated for mid-April.

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