Croce's Top Hat Bar and Grill, San Diego
I came here to check things out during their "soft opening," because I've been looking forward to seeing the new place.
If Jazz is your thing, this will be the place for you. Croce's Park West is new but well known and well worth going to.
Do you remember, the singer/song writer Jim Croce? Have you heard, "Time in a Bottle?" Well, Jim and Ingrid Croce came to San Diego many years ago and thought to open a restaurant here. This was before Jim's untimely death.
After he died, Ingrid followed through with those plans to support their son and as one of the pioneers of the Gaslamp Quarter development downtown she opened "Croce's Restaurant and Jazz Bar." After something like 28 or 29 years she lost her lease at the Gaslamp location at Fifth Avenue and F Street. Something that shocked most of San Diego.
Now, the Tribute to Jim Croce has moved uptown to Banker's Hill. Ingrid did remarry and I was honored to meet both Ingrid Croce and Jimmy Rock when I came to their new restaurant & bar for dinner. They both are so warm, welcoming and vibrant that it is no wonder that this place is a success before it even opens officially. (19 January 2014)
The décor is reminiscent of dinner clubs in New York in the earlier part of the twentieth century. High backed, maroon colored (velvet?) booths on a raised platform, over-stuffed chairs of various styles, patterns and colors around the tables. A long bar of dark wood, a cozy lounge and patio seating. The whole impression given is comfortable, stylish and nostalgic.
I was here on a Monday night before their official opening and didn't expect a live music experience. Even on a Monday night without live music the place was pretty busy. The acoustic quality was impressive. I could hear the taped, soft jazz background music and though there were several groups of people all chattering, the noise level was subdued rather then boisterous.
The age range was 21 to pretty old. This is an ageless place to enjoy good jazz.
I'll add more after enjoying an evening of Jazz.
To Be Continued...
Dress Code: I think they don't actually have a "dress code" as I've seen a wide range of dress here and from the best dressed to the poorest dressed, everyone was treated as an honored guest.
However, my suggestion is that you will want to dress your best if you want to really enjoy the experience of Croce's World.
To Be Continued...