The Balcony Club. (Photo courtesy of Scott Metcalfe)

The Balcony Club is preparing to serve drinks to the tune of smooth jazz after Gov. Greg Abbott gave bars the green light to reopen Friday.

The club will open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday at 25 percent capacity. Instead of ordering drinks at the bar, guests must sit at tables and place their orders there. Hand sanitizing stations and tables will be spread throughout the room, with no more than six people at one table. Dancing is discouraged, but not prohibited, by the governor’s rules.

“The biggest challenge will be holding to 25 percent occupancy,” owner Scott Metcalfe said. “I think people are going to come out. I get two or three calls a day asking if we’re open. We had a couple people stop by who saw the livestream from Sunday, and they hightailed over to see if we were open.”

Friday night’s lineup of musicians includes a classic rock trio and a jazz quartet. Saturday night favorite Route 66 will perform the following evening. The Balcony Club will charge a cover beginning at 7 p.m. but is lowering the charge from $8 to $7. All proceeds will go to musicians until the club can open at 100 percent capacity.

Since closing in mid-March because of the coronavirus, Metcalfe has made several upgrades to the club at 1825 Abrams Road, near the Lakewood Theater.

“As much as it hurt deeply to be closed, it was a unique opportunity to make subtle changes,” Metcalfe said.

The owner added a new dish washer and ice machine with bigger and better ice to improve drinks. He also purchased new bar stools and glassware. Upgraded speakers will enhance the sound quality, and new paint keeps the club looking fresh. He also revamped the website and the logo by adding a touch of color.

“Don’t panic,” Metcalfe said. “It’s still the Balcony Club. The goal is not only to make things better for the bands, but for the best customer experience possible.”


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