Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009

11/28/2016

Report Jimmy Mak's closing for good, owner's health is the reason / UPDATED

By TOM D'ANTONI // Will not open the new club. Closing after new year's due to owner's health / Jimmy Mak's official statement

One of the musicians who plays at Jimmy Mak's reports that owner Jimmy Makarounis told him today that the club will be closing after new years and NOT reopening in a new location.

He said, "Just got word that Jimmy Mak's will be closing for good after New Years. No move, just closing. Such a big loss for the music scene in Portland."

Story confirmed by other sources.

This just released by the club:

– Jimmy Mak’s, Portland’s nationally renowned jazz club and one of the city’s longest-running nightclubs of any genre, will close its doors indefinitely after its final show on December 31, according to owner Jimmy Makarounis.

“It is with a heavy heart I make this announcement,” Makarounis said. “Jimmy Mak’s has been a family home to world-class musicians of many different genres, particularly the city’s best jazz players. The club also presents many of the world’s top jazz and blues players and has become a significant West Coast stop on many of these artists’ tours.”

Makarounis is currently undergoing immunotherapy treatments for cancer of the larynx, which has intensified in the past five weeks. His doctors insist that he step away from Jimmy Mak’s business to focus solely on healing.

The building that the club currently occupies was sold for development approximately one year ago, which made a change of locations necessary. The club had identified a new location in February, just east of N.W. 10th on Everett St. in the Pearl District.

Makarounis said the new club’s buildout was fully funded and moving ahead, planning for a move and grand opening in early 2017: a beautiful new space with a larger stage, upgraded sound and lighting, designed to provide unobstructed site lines with more seating available for both reserved and general admission ticket holders. In addition, a spacious new outdoor courtyard was in the works.

Now, with this sudden change in his health, the project cannot move forward and the 20-yearold jazz institution will cease operations at the end of 2016.

“As it became apparent that my health could prevent us from moving forward with the move of the club, we began to explore opportunities for other owner/operators to step in and take on the opportunity to finish the project and keep the club open,” Makarounis said. “Unfortunately, we could not find anyone willing to step in and take on the project.”

At present, there is still an opportunity for another owner/operator to step in to fund and finish the buildout of the new location and carry on the Jimmy Mak’s brand, Makarounis said.

Jimmy Mak’s, founded by Jimmy Makarounis and his family, opened its doors in 1996. The club has been designated “one of the world’s top 100 places to hear jazz” by Down Beat Magazine.

AND THIS FROM JD STUBENBERG

What you're hearing is true. Jimmy Mak's as we know it will close after NYE. We are still looking for a potential investor to take over the operation so it ain't over yet. The club is financially sound. This is purely based on Jimmy's health. Nothing else to it.

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Comments

Bonnie Keller

I am interested in keeping that place alive please let me know details.

Judy Blanchard

So sad to hear of the loss of this wonderful music venue. Sad as I may be, Jimmy, it is more important that you take care of yourself. May God bless you with a good and speedy recovery.

Asa

I know some friends/family who would be interested in taking on Jimmy Mak's. Where can I learn more information?

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