IN TUNE: Stop looking for the perfect nightclub – we’ve found it. It’s called Jacksonville, and it’s in a safe, easy-to-get neighborhood in Paterson.
Good food, good service, all varieties of talent. Intimate surroundings for an affordable date or a night out with your friends. And you can still get home by 10:30 on a school night.
From the front, Jacksonville looks like any other bar on the strip. But then you enter a magical oasis filled with genuine class, style – and people. In an era of pre-fab fern bars that hold no charm, Jacksonville is the kind of club that generates a buzz.
That’s because owner Mike Jackson has everything covered.
If you don’t like soul food (catfish, collard greens), Mike’s chef will whipe you up a salad, burger or mac and cheese (Personal fave: the crab cakes). He’ll personally come to your table to be sure it’s all perfect.
That’s just half the attraction, of course.
Friday nights is R&B open mic, but don’t be fooled: The performers are by no means amateurs.
This Saturday, Oct. 29, is Vendors’ Day at Jacksonville, an opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services. Vendor registrations were still being accepted at $35/table. Proceeds go to a family in Passaic whose twins girls both have cerebral palsy .
Saturday is Latin Night, with a salsa band and deejay playing Latin, house, freestyle and more (yes, there’s plenty of room for dancing). Mike takes table reservations for those nights; they’ve become very popular.
Sundays are just as special. Besides the all-you-can eat $20 brunch, one month every Sunday is gospel open mic and another is a Gospel Brunch hosted by WBLS.
And then there are Wednesdays – sweet, lovely, smooth, cool Wednesdays. In residence right now is Nikki Armstrong, with a top-notch band of A-list musicians: Guitarist Mark Brandeburg (Gene Cornish’s Guitar Club 4 Men, Bronco Suave Orchestra), Pianist Loren Daniels (Milt Jackson, Rufus Reid), Bassist Layton (Jacksonville House Band) and Drummer Argentino (Miami Sound Machine).
Nikki (right) puts on a terrific show, both classy and sassy, with styles that range from standards to blues to pop ( SEE: Nikki Armstrong Makes Magic In Ridgefield Park ) Special 1/2 priced drinks and appetizers. 7 to 10 p.m. No cover.
Jacksonville, besides being a terrific restaurant, is a great musical venue. The stage is big, as is the projection screen behind. The lighting is subdued, the sound perfect.
Get there early and you can find a parking spot nearby. On the busy weekends, Mike has a deal with a parking lot owner near Rout
e 19. A shuttle bus
takes you directly to the club and back, free.
WHERE: 325 Grand Street Paterson
PHONE: 973 569 9624
ALSO: Jacksonville on Facebook
And get this: Jacksonville does any event you might want to have: weddings/wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, birthdays, anniversaries, corporate meetings, holiday parties, organizational gatherings, fundraisers, award presentations, showers and cocktail hours.
“We will work with you to create the perfect menu and ambiance for a perfect party,” Mike says, guaranteeing that people “will talk about it for years to come.”
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