Jackson's Steakhouse Lounge: Luxe downtown spot a place to spend hours

Imagine leaving the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind and walking into an elegantly appointed lounge where the music is mellow and the atmosphere conducive to relaxing.

Jackson's Steakhouse Lounge
Suite 190, 450 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Music: light jazz, pop standards 8-11 p.m. weekends, 7-10 p.m. weekdays
Cover: no
Minimum: no
Parking: metered street, valet
Dress: neat, casual
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Paint the picture in your mind, then walk through the polished brass doors into Jackson's. See the sink-down-into cushioned chairs, the handsome mahogany bar and listen to the sweet sounds emanating from the musicians at the side of the room. You may want to stay here for hours.

Although the pictures of baseball players might suggest a sports theme, it's not that way at all. Dome ceiling lights, small tables, touches of rich polished wood and music suited for the most sophisticated clubs create a beautiful scene. I never was at Jackson's before I stopped by one Friday, but I would definitely go again.

Pianist Jimmy Petullo, bass player Mike Kolber and drummer Tony Colarusso performed when I visited and should be there this weekend along with guest female singer Lisanne Lyons. While the band usually stays the same, the singers rotate and most are vocalists with local followings. The repertoire includes Miles Davis, Bill Evans and Ray Brown arrangements. The music I heard included superlative interpretations of songs such as All of Me, I've Got You Under My Skin and My Romance.

Food and drink are served in the lounge (the restaurant is farther back). Light bites include items such as fried calamari ($7), lobster bisque ($12) and tuna tartare ($12). Well-brand cocktails start at $7.

Nightlife news

Tonight: Say hello to Bittersweet Blues, 1406 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach (954- 786-6008). The new club features lots of live blues you can dance to.

Saturday: Find Latin and Caribbean sounds at Ginger Bay Cafe, 1908 Hollywood Blvd. (954-923-1230). The dancing starts late and the party goes on until early morning.

Sunday: Singles of all ages are invited to a cocktail party featuring music, dancing and free buffet at Capriccio's, 2424 N. University Drive, Pembroke Pines (954-432-7001). Admission $17. Call Carol 954- 370-7352.

Monday: The neighborhood saloon Buzz's Bar, 8931 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise (954-749-1337) has happy-hour prices all night with no cover, 2-for-1 drink specials for males (it's men's night), plus live jazz with musicians welcome to sit in and play.

Tuesday: From 10 p.m. to midnight, women visiting the Leopard Lounge, Chesterfield Hotel, 363 Cocoanut Row, Palm Beach (561-659-5800) receive a season-ending special with 2-for-1 beers, house wine and standard brand cocktails.

Wednesday: Break up the work week by meandering over to the Marriott Boca Raton at Town Center on Military Trail, just north of Palmetto Park Road (561-392-4600). From 5-7 p.m., discover acoustic music performed by Jason K and Mark Riley at the poolside Wet Bar.

Thursday: Guitarist/vocalist Dave Shelley often is described as "a blues rocker with a world beat edge." See what you think when his band plays a mixture of blues and rock at the Downtowner Saloon, 408 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale (954- 463-9800). Join Carnival starting 7 p.m. at the Samba Room, 350 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale (954-468-2000). Brazilian bands and dancers, cigar rollers and fire eaters are featured.

Joan Brazer Durante is a freelance writer based in Plantation. Please send news concerning local entertainment events and performers via e-mail to or mail to Joan Brazer Durante, Entertainment Department, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2293.