Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in Soho is a true London icon. Opened in 1959, the world-renowned club was one of the first places in the UK to host American jazz musicians, and over the years has seen performances from legendary artists including Chet Baker, Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, Curtis Mayfield and Bill Evans. An institution on the UK jazz scene for over 60 years, it was a huge blow for it to close back in March along with the rest of London’s music venues.
Now, Ronnie Scott’s will finally open again later this month after the original reopening was postponed. The club had initially planned to open its doors again at the beginning of August but government regulations have delayed it until September 19. The club has been deep-cleaned and will open with a reduced capacity of 50 percent. A number of safety measures have been put in place to ensure the wellbeing of customers.
In addition to observing social distancing guidelines, there will be temperature checks on arrival and hand sanitiser stations throughout the club. There are even ‘elegant’ screens in some seating areas to ensure the atmosphere is still as warm and cosy as usual.
The club decided not to immediately open after restrictions were lifted on August 15 in case of further changes by the government and has used this time to ensure the club is as safe as possible for customers.
Fred Nash, Ronnie Scott’s general manager explains, ‘We are proud to have scored 100 percent in a Covid-safety audit without compromising the great atmosphere of the club and not putting in measures which are quite frankly weird or unnecessary.
‘We believe we can welcome customers back safely whilst maintaining the old-school hospitality values we are known for. We’re certain that when our customers return, they will feel we have got it just right.’
The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars will reopen the club on September 19 and the listings until the end of October feature a mix of jazz royalty and rising stars including Emma Smith, Mark Kavuma, Soweto Kinch and Ashley Henry.
As Ronnie Scott’s finally opens for the first time in 137 days, jazz lovers from across the capital will hope the venue manages to maintain its unique ambience, while its audience keep their distance from each other.
Full listings and more information available at www.ronniescotts.co.uk.
Want to grab some dinner before all that jazz? These places are doing Eat Out to Help Out through September.
Check out London Mural Festival’s reinterpretation of some of the city’s streets.