Iconic Jimmy Mak's Jazz Club Will Be Redeveloped Into Apartments

Mak's will keep swinging through at least July—and is looking at spaces nearby for a possible move.

The building housing Jimmy Mak's jazz bar has been sold to a developer, owner Jimmy Makarounis tells WW.

"The timelines are still not firm," writes Makarounis, "and we are looking at various locations for our new space. There is a space across the street that we are considering, but it's too early to say if this location will definitely work."

Makarounis was one of the owners of the building that houses Jimmy Mak's. Terms of the deal are subject to a non-disclosure agreement, he says.

Jimmy Mak's has been not just a jazz mainstay for the last 20 years, but a bulwark—the place talents like Mel Brown, and now his son, Christopher, can be given residencies and allowed to thrive.

"Most of the world's best jazz musicians have taken their souls for a walk in front of Jimmy Mak's red velvet curtain," we wrote in our 2015 Bar Guide, "provided they haven't been dead for two decades."

Makarounis promises the music won't stop anytime immediately, however.

"In the meantime we have a full book of music scheduled through the early summer, and will be celebrating our 20-year anniversary in mid-July at our current location," Makarounis says.

This isn't the first time Mak's has had to move—indeed, it's starting to look like a 10-year plan. Ten years after its opening, in 2006, Mak's moved across the street to its current, larger space.

"We went in debt up to our eyeballs," Makarounis told WW about that move. "I mortgaged my house, emptied my 401(k) plan. It was nerve-wracking, but the timing was perfect. The economy was going up. If we had tried to do this in 2008 or 2009, I don't know…."

It's now been almost 10 years since that move.

According to staff at Bella Casa furniture store a couple blocks down the street on Northwest 10th Avenue, the store will be changing configuration to be "longer and skinnier," and Jimmy Mak's was in talks to move into the space vacated by Bella Casa.

Former WW staffer Byron Beck was the first to get wind of the news at 1 pm today—posting it publicly on his Facebook with possible details:

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Kurt Schultz at Sera Properties filed an early assistance application for an 11-14 story residential development with the address 205 NW 10th—next door to Jimmy Mak's—with ground-floor retail and 96 below-ground parking spaces.

We will fill in more information as it becomes available.

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