The “urban arts venue” will pair performances with a full-service culinary program.
Roxbury will be seeing the arrival of a new arts and cultural space in 2023.
In Nubian Square’s Bolling Building, Jazz Urbane Cafe, a jazz club and restaurant, will hold what directors hope will be a soft opening in the summer. Its arts program will feature nightly musical performances, as well as film screenings, dance and theater shows, and installations, while culinary and bar programs will make the cafe “a full sensory experience,” according to its website.
The team behind the project is led by founder and arts director Bill Banfield, co-CEO and director of restaurant operations Nia Grace, and co-CEO and director of business strategy and community engagement Turahn Dorsey.
“[The] Jazz Urbane Cafe’s plan is a thoughtful and innovative approach bridging high-value arts and innovative media with a world-class, full-service culinary program,” Banfield, Grace, and Dorsey wrote in a statement to Boston.com.
The “urban arts venue” will spotlight local, national, and international artists, including musicians on the Jazz Urbane Recordings label, the cafe’s sister company. Guests will be able to enjoy “a fusion of global flavors with many ingredients sourced locally” when dining, while craft spirits, beers, and wine will also be available, according to the Jazz Urbane Cafe website.
A Boston Globe article stated that the cafe will seat 200 guests, occupying a “7,800 square-foot space in the Ferdinand section of the building.” Current plans include a semi-circle stage surrounded by seating, two informal lounge areas, two bars, and a private dining room, according to Dorsey.
In December, the Zoning Board of Appeal approved plans for the cafe. The venue was also granted approval for takeout and restaurant operations with live entertainment, according to a representative from the City of Boston. Four non-transferrable liquor licenses will be granted to applicants within the Bolling Building, and Dorsey said that it is the team’s intention to apply for one in the new year.
Bringing Jazz Urbane Cafe to Nubian Square, the three directors hope to contribute to a wave of investment and business development in the neighborhood.
“Jazz Urbane Cafe’s ultimate purpose is to promote belonging and culture-building in Nubian Square, hopefully becoming a ‘public square’ that fosters the connections that weave and strengthen the fabric of our communities,” they wrote. “… We hope to become both an anchor institution in Roxbury and a venue that earns a national and international reputation.”
Jazz Urbane Cafe, 2260 Washington Street, Roxbury
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