Jazz Mecca Jimmy Mak's Is Closing Forever

The iconic jazz club has halted its planned relocation, citing owner Jim Makarounis's health problems.

Jimmy Mak's, Portland's premier jazz club, is closing for good at the end of 2016.

"It is with a heavy heart I make this announcement," owner and namesake Jim Makarounis said in a statement. "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."

In February, it was reported that the downtown venue had been sold to developers, but that Makarounis planned to move the club into the former Bella Casa furniture store just a few blocks away on Northwest Everett St.—its second relocation since opening 20 years ago.

According to Makarounis, the buildout was moving ahead, but his ongoing battle with larynx cancer has forced him to step away from the project. And unless a new owner steps in to complete the necessary funding, Jimmy Mak's will close permanently on Dec. 31.

"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."

The closure of Jimmy Mak's represents the latest—and perhaps fatal—hit to the Portland jazz scene, which has seen several other venues, including Ivories and Vie de Boheme, shut their doors in recent years.

Related: "Solae's Lounge Brings Jazz and Blues Back to Alberta."

Fittingly, the final show at Jimmy Mak's, scheduled for Dec. 30, features local legend and club mainstay Mel Brown along with his son, Christopher.

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