One of Victoria’s oldest breakfast joints is opening for late night entertainment. John’s Place, in operation since 1984, is creating a new night-time personality called “JP’s After Dark,” which will turn the Victoria dining staple into a music venue featuring a new menu and craft beer. Events will run every Thursday through Saturday, hoping to reach out to the local music scene with an all-ages venue.
I met with John Procopio (JP), general manager of John’s Place, and Jessica McLellan, music coordinator, to discuss the new changes over lunch. The restaurant is one of kind. Colourful photographs cover every square inch of the walls; the staff is personable and lively; food is made from scratch with love, and is the only restaurant in town that serves Marley coffee! It’s more than a restaurant—it’s a community.
“We are marketing [JP’s After Dark] separate from John’s Place and will have a new personality,” says JP. “The menu will be different, [we will] feature craft beers, good prices, and small plates.” For all the beers lovers JP’S After Dark will feature three kegs: Dark Matter from Hoyne Brewery, Analog 78 from Phillips, and the third will rotate. As for the menu, poutine and wings will have a feature spot as well as Slacker Burgers—a alternative name to the typical ‘sliders’.
As for the music, artists will play by large windows in the front of house and tables will be moved to create a dance floor. Thursday will be an open mic night hosted weekly by T-Rav from The Party on High Street, Friday features vintage vinyl hosted by Chris Lawrence of Garden City Soul Club, and Saturday is live-night, rotating local artists and touring bands.
[pullquote]“I want this to be thought of as a place for great music, obviously great food, craft beer and a good time,” says McLellan.[/pullquote]
By offering a house venue setting, McLellan hopes that the Victoria music scene will come to them through the open mic night and word-of-mouth. “It’s always been about supporting musicians, so this is just the next leg of how that can occur,” says McLellan. JP’s After Dark officially kicked off on Jan. 26 hosting an Aggrolites acoustic set, primarily for B.C. Ska Society members holding tickets to their performance on the 27th.
As a live setting for music and serving food, JP says, “I’d like to refer to this place as a ‘joint’. It’s a place you can go and see something really good. It’s not a bar, it’s not a nightclub, but there’s something happening.” By moving tables to create a dance space, the capacity will reflect an intimate setting. A live video feed will be projected off the rear mirror onto the west wall of the restaurant so everyone has a view.
Hours are not set in stone, but regular late-night eaters will still be able to enjoy their traditional meatloaf. Events will start around 8:30 p.m., and run until after midnight. JP’s After Dark will be open for late-night business every Thursday through Sunday and will “ramp it up seven nights a week if the community calls for it,” says McLellan. JP’s After Dark has something to offer anyone in Victoria’s community. It’s a place where you can have an engaging conversation, flavourful bites, and entertainment for any age.
“I want this to be thought of as a place for great music, obviously great food, craft beer and a good time,” says McLellan.