A-years-in-the-making plan to open a blues club was about to become a reality Thursday, Jan. 20.
Co-owners James and Rosie Yagielo stood in front of the Blues & Brews Bistro for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that would improve Ormond Beach's blues music scene.
Ms. Yagielo handed off the ceremonial remarks to her husband, admitting she did not want to get emotional.
“On behalf of Rosie and myself,” Mr. Yagielo said. “We welcome you to Blues and Brews Bistro.”
Noting the Allman Brothers' connection to the area, hoping to hold up the brothers’ blues legacy, Mr. Yagielo promised “original talent.” He credited his chefs as creative geniuses and encouraged everyone to stay after the ceremony to enjoy the food and live performance. Chef Zachery Mims laid a hand on the oversized scissors, joining the Yagielo’s in cutting the blue ribbon.
Blues & Brews Bistro is at 790 S. Atlantic Ave. It was the home of Dimitri's Deck Bar and Grill. When the married couple stepped inside, they knew it was the place they were hoping to find.
“It's very conducive to the business plan that we had for all of these years,” Ms. Yagielo said.
The Yagielos took ownership of the building in August. A four-month renovation project began immediately. Looking around the club, Mr. Yagielo said Blues & Brews Bistro exceeds the vision laid out in their business plan.
The blues come in many styles: rock, soul, Memphis blues and St Louis blues are but a few. What will Blues & Brew Bistro be featuring?
“All different types of blues,” Mr. Yagielo said. “We're trying to hit a little bit of every type of blues. As long as it's blues, we'll give it a shot and see how well it's received.” Ms. Yagielo explained, “These are the artists that we want to hear.” She later added that people “don’t realize how many genres are based on blues and how many bands that they actually like, even to the Led Zeppelins and the ACDCs, it’s all based in blues.”
Describing the bistro’s vibe, Ms. Yagielo said, “Think supper club but introducing the genre of blues to an area that may or may not know it or they absolutely appreciate it and are excited that it's here.”
The idea to become club owners began in Key Largo. They would go to a blues bar that “had blues music during supper hour,” Mr. Yagielo said. “We really enjoyed it and really saw this place (in Key Largo) flourish.”
Moving north, they recognized similarities in the Ormond Beach community to Key Largo. However, there was one thing Key Largo had Ormond beach did not have, a blues bar.
“When we moved here a couple of years ago, other than Bank and Blues, there wasn't anything that we liked,” Ms. Yagielo recalled. They decided to take matters into their own hands and open a bar similar to the one they enjoyed in their Key Largo days.
Ms. Yagielo had the restaurant experience to make the plan happen. “I've actually been in and out of the hospitality business most of my life,” she said. “I’ve had family members that had pizzerias when I was a kid. And then I actually started working for different restaurants when I was about, I don't know, 20, and I opened restaurants for other people.”
She also opened restaurants for hotels, such as Hilton, Marriott, Sheridan and Westin, she said. “I’ve done the whole gamut as far as different entities.”
Despite that experience, there is nothing like opening your own club. About an hour before the ceremony, Ms. Yagielo described herself as “way way nervous.”
Moments before it, Mr. Yagielo explained the feeling, “I'm excited, I’m excited (it took) a lot of work to get to this point.” This is the first time the Yagielos opened a club.
Jeffrey Stolowitz, who sits on the board of the Daytona Beach Blues Society, said Blues & Brews Bistro was “long needed in the area and filling a void. We welcome this place with open arms.”
The party that followed the ceremony was led by singer-guitarist Adam James. He said a blues establishment, such as this, “means everything.” That it is “kind of cool” to have a bar that is intent on showcasing the blues as opposed to selling out to top 40.
Ms. Yagielo, “You're gonna have a good time and you're gonna get up and dance. We definitely want to pay our respects and hopefully we're respecting the spirits of Greg and Duane (Allman) because they went to school a mile away.”
Not to forget the food Mr. Yagielo referenced during the ribbon cutting, “Our chiefs are absolutely amazing. They really made us what we believe to be an upper-level dining experience,” he said. If you are not hungry, then stop by just to groove to the blues. Also, there is an upstairs outdoor bar with great beach views.
For more information, visit bluesbrewsbistro.com/.
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