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Jazz club coming to downtown Springfield

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Last edited 12:52 p.m., Oct. 4, 2018

A pair of 27-year-old entrepreneurs are bringing a jazz club to downtown Springfield.

Dylan Fox, who co-owns the venture dubbed The Hepcat with Jimmy Rollins, said an opening is targeted for January at 220 S. Campbell Ave.

Fox said The Hepcat — a term coined during the jazz age referring to enthusiasts of the genre — would host music from jazz, bluegrass and blues acts. It also would have a modern cocktail menu developed by Fox and Midwest comfort food cooked by his brother, Dustin Fox.

“It’s going to be jazz-centric for sure, but we also want to make sure we fit the mold of Springfield,” said Dylan Fox, who most recently worked as chief bartender for Hotel Vandivort.

Fox said The Hepcat would pay homage to the jazz age of the 1920s, as well as clubs in Kansas City and Chicago that inspired the concept.

“The music, the cocktails, the food all happening in one place, it’s just a beautiful theme,” he said. “We’ll definitely have that vibe, but we also want to make it modern.”

Fox said he and Rollins — who previously worked together at Barley, Wheat and Rye — penned a three-year lease with building owner Sam Freeman. He declined to disclose lease terms for the 4,200-square-foot main floor, which will house the concept, and a 2,800-square-foot basement that won’t currently be utilized. Fox said he’s been eyeing the space — located at Campbell Avenue and McDaniel Street for five years. He said the fact the space is adjacent to music club Nathan P. Murphy's was not intentional.

“The space is beautiful,” Fox said. “Sam Freeman has been pretty easy to work with. He’s been very forgiving of a couple of 27-year-olds trying to open a business.”

Fox declined to estimate the business owners’ investment in the project.

Plans for The Hepcat were first reported by 417 Magazine.

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