If Michael Fagien's new upscale Mizner Park drink house sounds even remotely like a jazz joint, well, the founder of Jazziz Magazine wants you to perish that thought immediately. Jazziz Nightlife will bring to its corner of the Mizner strip alto saxophonist David Sanborn, jazz singer Nicole Henry and other touring luminaries, feed supper to musically inclined patrons and festoon its walls with portraits of Sinatra, Brubeck and Fitzgerald.
But, no, Fagien insists, it's not a jazz club.
"It's a totally different concept," says Fagien, whose 11,700-square-foot nightclub replaces the old Zed 451 steakhouse space. (Nightlife soft-opened on March 20.) "There's a big misconception. We have a club inside, but it's just as much a restaurant, a humidor lounge, a caviar bar and champagne room."
Fagien, the longtime owner of the now-defunct Jazziz Bistro at the Seminole Hard Rock — another live-jazz-and-food concept restaurant — says the smoky indulgence of the new venue should court a blend of quiet, midweek diners and unruly party people. And if both wander into Jazziz at the same time, Fagien has prepared for this scenario: soundproofed rooms. One private dining area, for example, lets clubgoers order directly from executive chef Justin Flit. The cost: $2,000 minimum for parties of 20.
"When the party gets bigger than 10, they get loud, so we might put them in the soundproofed rooms," says Fagien, who modeled the club after Tokyo's Cotton Club. "Or say it's your 40th anniversary, and you and wifey are huge fans of the Yellowjackets and want an intimate room all to yourselves. So we don't think we're priced way out of the ballpark. It's comparable to lots of places at Mizner."
Upcoming jazz acts, performing 7-9 p.m., include pianists Ariel Pocock (April 5-6) and Kait Dunton (April 10-11); the supergroup Fourplay (April 16-17); actress-turned-singer Molly Ringwald (May 1-2) and Miami's Henry (May 9).
Flanking Jazziz Nightlife's outsize stage is a dining alcove called the Stage Left Lounge, filled with the abovementioned jazz portraits. A baby-grand piano is the centerpiece to a soundproofed, indoor-outdoor cigar bar and piano room that Fagien says has no view of the stage.
"You can sit around the piano and put your drinks on top. I won't be that buzzkill guy who says, 'Aw, use a coaster!' " he says with a laugh. "If I have to refinish the piano afterward, who cares? Go for it."
Jazziz Nightlife, 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, is open 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday to Sunday, with jazz brunches 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 561-910-7721 or go to Jazziz.com/jazziznightlife.Copyright © 2015, South Florida