Farewell to the Jazz Cafe
I don't want to make this into the passing of an era or anything, but I always had a soft spot for EJ's. It was an eclectic environment, and one of the very few places in Reno that you could see live jazz and have something approximating real Cajun and Creole food. When I moved downtown in 2004 I used to hang out there pretty regularly since it was just a block or so up the Truckee river from the old Fortress of Solitude.
It's hard to get too nostalgic about it since it wasn't there very long and had more than it's share of problems. The place was so small that even a moderately sized crowd would make it difficult of find a seat, and although I liked the fact that they brought in some decent jazz bands (jazz is always much, much better live) the compact dimensions of the place made the music so abrasively loud that it was impossible to talk to anyone. Frankly, between the noise and the jostling of the crowd sometimes you felt like you might as well be at Brew Brothers.
Still, EJ's was one of those places that you had to appreciate the idea of, even if the execution wasn't always perfect. EJ's took a chance on downtown Reno back when that idea was still laughable, long before anyone thought of turning derelict casinos into stylish condos and the riverfront was still pretty much considered the exclusive domain of junkies and schizophrenics. I admire the owners for taking a chance on creating the sort of venue that most people would never expect to find in Reno and somehow making it work, at least for a while. I hope the new owners find success.