Most Underrated Jazz Venue 

Critics' Pick

click to enlarge Trumpeter Victor Haskins performs with Eric Lyttle on piano.

Scott Elmquist

Trumpeter Victor Haskins performs with Eric Lyttle on piano.

Perhaps the reason the Barrel Thief isn’t jammed every night is that it looks so normal. Set in a vintage shopping strip at Libbie and Patterson avenues, it looks more like a wine boutique than a restaurant and venue. But every Saturday night for the past four years, bassist Jason Jenkins has led a first-rate small band of local players. The lineup shifts from week to week, with Jenkins and guitarist Alan Parker as an excellent core rhythm section. The lineup offers recognizable standards and engaging originals, dinner music that rewards closer attention. The menu is midpriced and eclectic, the wine selection ranges from quality budget to sommelier choice, and a purchased bottle can be consumed at the table. Check it out, but don’t tell anyone. It’s nice to be able to walk in on a Saturday night at 8 and get a good table.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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