ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — One foot is tucked onto the rung of the stool. Hands are wrapped around an acoustic guitar, and a face is turned upward with song. The encouraging audience listens receptively over their drinks and munchies.
It’s open mic night at the newly opened Studio Café in Alexandria.
“A little taste of Nashville and New York in Alexandria,” is how Dustin Jacobs describes the new venue, placing the emphasis squarely on the music. “We are not a bar. We are a café — a live music house that serves alcohol.”
Jacobs, 36, along with his buddy and partner, Chris Chambers, 34, are the on-site entrepreneurs manning the bar and a whole lot more. The two recently joined forces with a third partner, FM Music Live, in a step that has broadened the pair’s vision for local, original music.
The Studio Café is an intimate venue. There’s a bar inside, dotted with stools. There are cloth-covered tables and chairs in the cozy space, and a small stage area for performers. Every Thursday night, it’s open mic night, up close and personal. On Fridays, look for scheduled local artists in the spotlight. Jacobs said that Saturdays are likely to become a game night.
In addition to beer, wine, mixed drinks, soda and coffee, patrons can purchase snack items or individual school-style pizzas.
“We’re going to expand our menu as soon as we get the money,” said Chambers. Expand is a key word, there, and Chambers and his pal, Jacobs, are all about that.
As it turns out, the Studio Café is really the tip of the iceberg. It’s just the latest morph-step in the rapidly evolving world of all-things-local-music at the Alexandria site.
‘By the people’
It was little more than a year ago when Chambers was running his bookstore, Days and Knights, in the building. Chambers launched a radio show, and invited Jacobs to participate.