There will be a new club opening up in the space vacated by Lefty’s, on 1230 State Street. Whereas Lefty’s specialized in blues music, Roxxy Nightclub and Pizzeria, scheduled to open on February 1, will have a wider scope.
Jeff Schutt, who along with his businees partner, Russell Moenich are launching Roxxy.
In addition to blues music, Schutt says, there will be rock and roll, and a house DJ, live band karaoke, and some old-school dancing and funk. He is also planning jazz jams and open guitar sessions. It will be a priority to book aspiring local bands.
On the non-musical entertainment side, Roxxy will to bring in multi-talented acts, such as comedians. Sundays will be movie, pizza and a beer night.
Roxxy will be an all-encompassing building that seats just fewer than 300 patrons in the main room with a stage and full service restaurant and bar. Pizza, appetizers, calzones, and spaghetti are just some of the menu items planned. There will also be a lounge where they can book smaller parties. The whole space will be open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. It will be 21 and over after 8 p.m.
Taking over the vacancy left by Lefty’s, the new club may be in competition other downtown nightlife venues.
“Competition’s good. Never look at that as a negative,” Schutt said. “It’s good for the city; it’s good for the industry. I come from Detroit and Ohio where there’s thousands of bands and hundreds of clubs. We’re all working for the same goal to try to make something good happen for the city.”
Schutt previously worked as manager at Stars Cabaret’s former location on Pine St. in Salem and currently manages 11 clubs across the country. Although he currently lives in Arizona, he plans to reside in Oregon again soon.
Schutt is optimistic about the future of the Roxxy and the positive effect it will have on Salem.
“We have a wonderful new president coming in who wants to try to re-grow the economy. This is a wonderful chance to give some people some employment, give the city some tax base, and make it more of a thriving community artistically and food wise,” Schutt said. “Our focus is absolute fun and hospitality. We want everyone walking out that door thinking they had a heck of a good time and we want our employees to be ambassadors of our venue, feeling very proud of their work and not feeling like it’s another day in the office.”
Jason Stringer, current booker of Salem music venue The Space shared his thought about the state of Salem’s nightclub venues.
“They [Lefty’s] had good pizza and they brought in some good acts, but in a town that’s smaller I think you need to be a bit broader with your music,” Stringer said. “Maybe there’s only a certain amount of people in Salem who want to go out to a blues show and if you’re having blues music four nights a week, you’re not going to get that crowd four nights in a row; they’re going to be dispersed over them. Maybe if you have a blues show, then a jazz show, then a classic rock band … you don’t have to delve into every style of music like we do but you just have to be a little bit more broad.”
Stringer doesn’t see a threat to the Space’s survival from Roxxy.
“As much as the Space tries to be broad, it caters mostly to 20 or 30 somethings. I think it has an image that scares some people off,” Stringer said. “I can see some bands crossing over, but for the majority of our acts I don’t think they would be playing at the same place. It’s a totally different vibe. The more music that’s going on in this town, it probably helps us out. We’re not threatened. With the Ike Box having better shows, it helps us out because it brings more awareness of the scene.”
With its open house held on January 20th to hire a new staff, Roxxy only needs approval from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to obtain its liquor license permit.