Java Jam Cafe Providing Service to Community in Englewood

| June 1, 2014 | 0 Comments


by Tim Wenger

The city of Englewood has a new home for live acoustic music. Java Jam Café, a coffee house and wine bar located directly across from the Swedish Medical Center’s drop off circle and next door to The Copper Pot, opened its doors late last year to provide not only a gathering place for the hospital residents, employees, and guests, but a true service to the local music community. Owned by Patrick and Gwen McCarroll, the café is a true hangout for the musician and the music fan alike.

The McCarroll’s opened for business on December 21, and feature everything from jazz to rock five to six days a week. They have also hosted “electronic nights” that cater to the younger EDM crowd. “People have really welcomed it, they’ve embraced it,” says Patrick, who is booked through the summer and is currently beginning to fill fall dates.

The café has everything a small venue needs, packed into the tight space. A stage and small mixing board are available. The décor touches the heart of both the musician and the music fan, featuring a large framed photo of Red Rocks Amphitheatre (“were we have always dreamed of playing,” Patrick says) all the way down to a small ceiling-bound guitar that is strummed each time the side door opens by a pick on the door’s top.

“We’ve been talking about doing a venue and coffee house for years,” says Patrick. “We sat down about nine years ago and we each drew a diagram of what we wanted to do, separately. We put them together and it was almost identical to what we wanted.”

The building at 500 E. Hampden Ave, directly across from Swedish Medical Center, came up for sale and the McCarrol’s jumped on the opportunity. “We saw the hospital, we saw the potential for helping people with music, and we made an offer on (the space),” says Patrick.

A full calendar of events, specials, and Sunday morning brunch jam is available at the café’s Facebook page. The café sells beer and wine in addition to home-baked goods and coffee.

The Café features an eclectic lineup of events, from a monthly jazz night to a monthly hospital staff appreciation night and a weekly open mic on Thursdays, with live music almost every evening (many days feature two separate shows with different performers). It is not uncommon for hospital patients to take refuge in the café, often spending entire afternoons. An informal song circle takes place the first Wednesday of the month, which is open to the public. Musicians interested in booking should attend an open mic night as a sort of ‘audition,’ and leave contact information with Patrick.

“My plan is to have music every day,” Patrick says. “We want to be known as a go-to place for acoustic music. Now with the jazz, it’s taking off. You’d be surprised- we’ve had a four piece combo in here and the sound is amazing.” The café offers outdoor seating for those wishing to relax with a book or work on some writing, with the live music still audible when it is taking place.

People visiting hospital patients are also finding solace within walking distance thanks to the café. “It’s just so great for those of us who are sitting in those hospital rooms all day long,” says Angela Kerr, whose son is in currently under care in the hospital. “Once the patients are able to get passes, and they can come here, it’s such an exhilarating experience for them. You can’t imagine how much it means.”

“The visitors come in and tell us their progress, and finally when they get out, they come here,” says Patrick. “My vision of the place is what it is- it’s not a bar where music is an after-thought. Music is the focus, that’s why we’re here. It’s a place to go see music and be part of it.”



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