Underground sounds: Jimmy Can’t Dance to bring the Jazz Age tunes to downtown

Longtime Monkey Wrench owner Dennie Humphrey is teaming up with Another Place Sandwich Shop operator Brian Goodwin to open an underground jazz club that’s truly underground—as in the basement of the aforementioned restaurant at 119 S. 7th St. The location is a prime spot: directly across from the 21 C Museum Hotel and a couple doors down from Mussel & Burger Bar.

The club will be called Jimmy Can’t Dance, and it will host live music four nights a week, starting mid-summer. According to a news release, the goal is to create a speakeasy vibe first by having guests enter through the dimly lit sandwich shop. Down below, they’ll find what resembles a traditional Manhattan jazz hall with New Orleans touches. The space will be classy and comfortable, owners say.

Programming will include weekly residencies by professional musicians, while serving as a place where young talent, including students from University of Louisville School of Music, can hone their skills.

Humphrey, who also is a partner in The Taj bar in NuLu, will lead the club’s beverage program. Expect a reasonably priced menu of jazz age-inspired cocktails, bourbon and craft beers.

“We want the bar program to be simple enough that you can get a drink quickly and get back to enjoying yourself,” Humphrey said in the release. “The menu will have variety, but will be price conscious. We don’t want anyone priced out of the experience.”

Another Place Sandwich Shop is creating a limited menu for Jimmy Can’t Dance, but don’t expect deli foods. Rotating menus will include pop-up collaborations with Louisville restaurants and chefs, and a weekend jazz brunch will be added to the lineup later this summer.

The name pays homage to Goodwin’s father, Jim Goodwin, who, before venturing into real estate, was a promoter in the Louisville music scene. He opened Friend in Hand and Beggar’s Banquet in Downtown Louisville. Goodwin also owned Another Place Sandwich Shop, now in its 45th year. Under the leadership of his son Brian, the operation has undergone a rebirth, including new culinary direction.

“Jim loved music, but he most certainly couldn’t dance,” said Goodwin. “Louisville has a great music scene, and we’re looking forward to adding to it while honoring my dad in the process.”

by steve coomes

Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 25-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass, Whisky Magazine, WhiskeyWash.com and The Bourbon Review. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.

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