West Columbia’s Chayz Lounge, Bill’s Pickin’ Parlor offer opportunity and diversity in live music

It is an uncommon summer because of the coronavirus crisis. Despite the uncertainty, two West Columbia venues are offering you the chance to experience a little music and normalcy.

As you venture out, keep in mind that West Columbia City Council approved an ordinance mandating masks, Tuesday at its regular meeting. The mask mandate goes into effect at 6 a.m. Friday.

Louise and Willie Wells

Masks are required upon entering essential service providers. Locations deemed non-essential, are allowed an opt-out provision. Check with the business you are entering to find out their policy on masks.

But: “Things certainly aren’t as they were prior to COVID-19,” said Chaye Alexander, owner of Chayz Lounge, 607 Meeting Street. “We’ve had a couple nights when the room was full. Attendance to our Thursday Jazz After 5 is increasing.”

To present music with safety in mind, Chayz Lounge has reduced its seating capacity from 75 to 35, said Chaye.

Click for link to Chayz Lounge Facebook page

Chayz Lounge, is a live jazz venue in the heart of West Columbia’s River District. Chaye describes it as a warm, elegant atmosphere that invites you to experience the finest smooth jazz and rhythm and blues acts. It’s the perfect place for adults to spend an evening with friends or a romantic night out enjoying a light meal, a glass of wine or signature cocktails, and the best live performances.

Chaye said the mandate to close earlier in the year presented some challenges, as have opening back up.

“We’ve gone above and beyond to ensure the health and well-being of our team and guests,” said Chaye. “We’re strict with our rules and people seem to appreciate that.”

Chayz Lounge

She also said she will be persistent with the expectation to thrive as Chayz Lounge moves forward in the coming months.

On Friday at 8 p.m. Chayz Lounge presents Encore – A Night of Smooth Soul with Tre’Sounds Band. On Saturday at 8 p.m., The Darrin Jackson Ensemble Live – A Soulful Jazzy Experience will be featured at Chayze. On Sunday at 7 p.m. Chayz offers An Evening of Jazzy Soul with Rod Foster & Company.

While there is jazz at Chayz’s, West Columbia offers a diversity in the types of music that are available to enjoy on-site.

Click for linkBill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor

Tunes emanating from Bill’s Pickin’ Parlor can be heard at 710 Meeting Street. From its opening in 1985 until his passing in 2011, owner and nationally-known Bluegrass musician Bill Wells provided a family-friendly place to pick, grin, sing or just listen. Now Bill’s son Willie and his Bill’s widow, Louise carry on Bill’s tradition.

“We’re easing back into,” the live music scene, said Willie. We’re practicing all the protocols. If someone is more comfortable with a mask, we encourage a mask.”

Willie said Bill’s is opening up a little at a time. He said there is still some apprehension on behalf of his patrons and he understands that. But there is a desire by others to give live music a try.

Chayz Lounge

Some are ready to get out,” said Willie. “They’ve been pent up too long and they want to get out.”

On Friday, at 7:30 p.m., Bill’s is presenting Pickin’ with the Pros with Davis Bradley. Next Tuesday, the Songwriters/Open Mic Night is featured at Bill’s.

It’s a West Columbia summer that offers a unique challenge, but there is something to do. Get out and enjoy the opportunities for music in your backyard.