Chattanooga Jazz Bar – A Comfy Jazz Restaurant in Brisbane

Looking to enjoy live music in the city with dinner and drinks in uber-comfort? Well, this was us just the other week and after doing some searching I came across the Chattanooga Jazz Bar, which is also a jazz restaurant in Brisbane. Located in Fortitude Valley, the Chattanooga Jazz Bar is a warm, friendly and stylish place, and judging by the music we saw, it hosts quality musicians too.

The entrance to the Chattanooga Jazz Bar in Fortitude Valley

The Atmosphere

After managing to get a parking spot nearby, my partner and I walked into the bar at about 6pm on a Sunday night. There were a few people leaving when we arrived, as we’d arrived for the later music session. The Chattanooga Jazz Bar is one big open room, with Chesterfield sofas and chairs beneath lamp-style lighting that hangs from the ceiling. The impression is one of warmth and intimacy and we felt at home right away.

The lighting at the Chattanooga Jazz Club was stylishly done

The Chattanooga Jazz Bar is a jazz restaurant in Brisbane with an American influence, particularly with the Chicago jazz scene and there are touches of this around the place. From the Statue of Liberty-esque lamp, to the American flag, pictures of great jazz musicians and on-stage neon lighting, the jazz bar brings a small slice of the US to Fortitude Valley.

Some American touches

The place also feels casual, as a few people were dropping in solo for a drink and a short listen (love to see people going out solo!), yet it’s distinctly stylish. For us, we felt like we were in a large loungeroom at a friend of a friend’s house, just chilling and listening to nice sounds. The owner Chelsea also added to the atmosphere, as she is naturally friendly. Additionally, the band conversed with us about music requests.

Quiet but definitely a comfy quiet. Not at all awkward!

The Music – Jazz Restaurant in Brisbane

I admit to not being a huge jazz fan, but I am a huge music lover. I listen to music all day, I also play the piano and ukulele and I loved that the band was asking us for requests. The band played songs from Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Buena Vista Social Club and even INXS. However, my requests typically weren’t heeded, as I’m more of a folk, classical and electronica kind of guy, but we enjoyed the interaction nevertheless.

Loved the lights hanging from the ceiling

Actually, the band played quite a lot of Cuban music and it made me realise how much I enjoy that style. I was yelling out for more in a bid to compromise and we got quite a few slices of Cuba on the night we visited. I also got chatty with the singer and piano player Aristotle. Evidently he has quirky parents!

Love the neon-pink lighting. Could be a Chicago thing?

Anyway, Aristotle had good range with his voice, singing in a variety of styles and pitches that impressed me. He was also adept on the piano and another musician that stood out for me was the drummer. Playing soft touches with brushes, using syncopation always impresses me. There was also a guy sitting amongst the few of us in the audience who later got up and played guitar with the band (pictured above), which I thought was cool.

A small but appreciative crowd on a Sunday night

In all, we really enjoyed the music at this jazz restaurant in Brisbane.  If you’re interested, Aristotle told me he also plays regularly at a bar in Woolloongabba called Can You Keep A Secret.

The Drinks

With the warm ambience and food on the way, I was in the mood for wine (I oscillate between wine and beer), so I ordered a glass of Chattanooga II Passo Verde Nero, from Sicily. There are about six reds you can drink by the glass here, as the rest come in bottles only. There’s a decent selection of wine, with white, sparkling and rosé on offer.

My Sicilian wine. Or was it my pinot noir?

I wasn’t overly taken with the Sicilian wine, so I next tried a pinot from the Mornington Peninsula, which I can recommend. There are also quite a few ‘signature wines’ on the menu, which include rosé, cab sav, shiraz and organic wine amongst others.  

Nikki’s Negroni

My partner is a cocktail gal, and she ordered a Negroni – which comes with ‘Wild Wombat Tasmanian gin’, and a grapefruit margarita – which contains premium tequila. She enjoyed her drinks, although I realise we didn’t make very American choices, considering we were in an American-style jazz restaurant in Brisbane.

Nikki’s grapefruit margarita

American cocktail options include the Old Fashioned Kentucky and Old Fashioned New Yorker. There are also plenty of whisky options, including a whole section of American whiskey to get you into the swing of things.

The Food

The Chattanooga Jazz Bar has a fairly simple yet decent selection of food on its menu. Of course, quite a few of these are American-influenced options, which I’ll let you discover for yourself.

My partner ordered the Louisiana Cajun with chicken. This contained long grain rice and borlotti beans, which were slow-cooked with celery, bell pepper onion and tomato. She really enjoyed this and I had a flavour and found it subtly exotic, appetising and with an excellent texture – cooked wonderfully. The chicken was also golden brown. I was enjoying myself so much at this point, that I stupidly forgot to take a photo! Hopefully you can just imagine it…

My Atlanta Supreme pizza

I went for a pizza – the Atlanta Supreme, which has salami, mushroom, tomato, capsicum, paprika, oregano and olives. The pizza is made with a sourdough, stone-baked based. I didn’t love my pizza, to be honest, as the base was a tad undercooked, it was a little floppy and there was too much cheese on it. Saying that, I’m currently on a hunt for the city’s best pizza so my standards could be a little high. It was certainly okay though.

Other American pizza options at this jazz restaurant in Brisbane include the Chicago Meat Lovers, Harlem Vegetarian, Detroit Chicken, and the Brooklyn pepperoni. Not to get you to eat elsewhere – because my partner really did love her food – but there’s also an excellent American-style restaurant in nearby Spring Hill to get you into the mood called Creole Soul Kitchen, which I’ve written about here.

The Service

Typically there’s not much to say about this section in reviews I do (which isn’t a bad thing). I’ve occasionally had some atrocious service and also outstanding service. I can happily say this one’s in the latter category, as co-owner Chelsea was onto it as soon as we arrived. She was warm, friendly and attentive but not overly so.

Chattanooga Jazz Bar owner Alan with Raquel. Love the American touches!

Her partner Alan also runs a popular jazz bar in Broadbeach called Den Devine. I met him only briefly, but he also seemed friendly. Our Spanish waitress Raquel was also warm, had some good menu recommendations and we got chatting with her for a bit. In all, we felt super comfortable here, as Chelsea, Alan and Raquel made us feel right at home. Thanks team, great job!

One final note about the service – we visited on a quiet night. Being an old hospitality hound, I know this is when mistakes are typically made and this didn’t happen!

Our Thoughts Overall

In all, we really loved the Chattanooga Jazz Bar! It’s a jazz restaurant in Brisbane that we’ll most certainly return to based on this experience. The ambience, décor, drinks, music, service and overall experience was fun on a Sunday night. Actually, it was just what we were looking for! Next, I want to try the Brisbane Jazz Club, but if you’re looking for live jazz music (or just music in general) in Brisbane in uber-comfort, definitely pay the Chattanooga Jazz Bar a visit.

Check out my video below to get a better idea of this jazz restaurant in Brisbane.

A Few Fast Facts

  • There’s parking nearby, but you might have to scout around a little as being so close to the city in Fortitude Valley, it’s first come first served. Be careful when driving too, as it’s easy to get slightly lost and end up over Story Bridge (like we did!).
  • The Chattanooga Jazz Bar regularly books live jazz music here. Check out their Insta page to find out exactly what’s on.
  • This jazz restaurant in Brisbane is only a five-minute walk from Fortitude Valley Station. So you could get the train in and make a night of it.
  • The Chattanooga Jazz Bar caters for functions of up to 80 people! Check out their website to book your special occasion.
  • As the place is open-planned and all on the ground level, it certainly looks wheelchair-friendly, but best check with the Chattanooga Jazz Bar.
  • Even though I did this review on a quiet night, the Chattanooga Jazz Bar often gets packed! Best book a table before you arrive (which is what we did).

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