Marine-owned 'Brass House' jazz club in danger of closing
The lights, the booze...and the smooth sounds of a piano.
All trademarks of a good jazz club - an endangered species here in the "Live Music Capital of the World."
Jason White says he and his business partners came up with the idea of the "Brass House" in the Marines Corps.
"I went to the Marine Corps in 2004, stayed for almost 10 years. The Marine Corps got 6 deployments out of me, 2 to Iraq, 4 to Afghanistan," White said.
For inspiration, he looked to the music that calmed him.
"In the military, you had songs that you listen to when you go on a mission and then you have songs that you listen to when you come home, And for me, the jazz was the songs that I listened to when I came back into the base. It was soothing, it was relaxing, it would bring you down from the adrenaline rush so that you could kind of come back to reality," White said.
When the "Brass House" dream became reality, success was instant.
"2013, we grew pretty quick. We became a local favorite. We had decent sales our first year, we almost broke even. In the space next door was a restaurant. It went out of business and so so we seized the opportunity to try to expand the Brass House and include a full restaurant," he said.
Legends like Tony Bennett have come into the club after performing in Austin.
But now...as Ray Charles once sang..."Hard Times."
"With the May rains and the June and July, the decrease in overall sales, it's kind of hit our pocket. And we've been called to terms on a note that we have to pay. Went to court last Friday to try to work with that but the time's come to pay the piper...and we've got to pay the piper in order to stay in business," White said.
White says they owe $23,000 by 11 am on Friday or they'll be evicted. Thanks to a GoFundMe account and a fundraiser, they've raised 13 of that. So they need 10 grand.
White says everything will be fine after that.
"It's the Austin summers, you have to have the capital come May to survive the next 3 months and then once you make it to September, everyone's back in town, sales are up, weathers nice and it's...it's back in business," White said.
White says they're also looking for an investor or partner that believes in the club.
You can get more information if you would like to help by going to the Brass House website here.