One of Chester’s best known music and comedy venues is up for sale after its owners announced their retirement almost 25 years since it all began.
Alexander’s Jazz Theatre bar, known as Alexander’s, was developed by Rod Cox and Pauline Thompson, through the Thompson Cox Partnership in 1991.
Rod and Pauline are proud of the ‘quirky’ venue’s achievements and its impressive hall of fame.
Based on a Jazz cabaret or Blues cellar bar in the American south, Alexander’s 150-capacity intimate venue has hosted household names from the worlds of jazz, blues, rock, folk and comedy over the years.
Music greats Ronnie Scott, George Melly, Georgie Fame, The Animals, The Yardbirds, Pentangle and John Renbourne have all performed in the past through to anti-zionist musician Gilad Atzmon, among the greatest saxophone players in the world today.
And the venue has remained at the forefront of the local music scene for more than 25 years, with acts such as Duffy and Ed Sheeran gracing the renowned open mic stage when they were virtual unknowns.
On the funny-bone front, the Saturday night comedy club has welcomed the likes of Jack Dee, Graham Norton, Jo Brand, John Bishop, Russell Howard and Bill Bailey, who all cut their comedy teeth on the Alexander’s stage. Caroline Ahearne debuted Mrs Merton at Alexander’s and it was here that Steve Coogan tested out many of his now well known comedy characters.
Pauline said: “We will be in our 25th year on June 21st, it feels like a real landmark for us and now it’s time to celebrate our 25 years and secure another 25 by finding the right purchaser to take it forward.”
Alexander’s opened on June 21, 1991, and the first artist on the stage was the late comedian and TV star Bob Monkhouse. Winner of a Lifetime Achievement for Comedy, he set the quality threshold for the iconic Chester Venue.
Alexander’s went on to organise Chester Jazz Festival. And in recent years Alexander’s has been the focal point of Chester’s famous Northgate Festivals, helping to fill the city’s previous cultural void with outdoor summer concerts featuring live music and a vibrant atmosphere in Rufus Court and the expansive rear garden.
Rod said: “It has been an amazing 25 years and we have had a fabulous time, loved the opportunities we have had and been able to give to other people and the local community. It has been a difficult decision but we want to now look to a further 25 years of a vibrant and successful Alexander’s with a new owner.
“In the meantime Alexander’s continues as usual, looking forward to the summer series of outdoor concerts. We imagine that the new owner will most likely be someone already in the trade but a community operation would definitely be welcomed.”
For more details about the sale of the business and leasehold, contact Ian Hart of Agents Hart & Co on 01244 403547 or email: Admin@alexanderslive.com.