Garden centre restaurant to be transformed into a classy jazz club

A garden centre restaurant is set to be ‘jazzed up’ – as it hosts its first themed music night. Businessman George Barlow’s trips to jazz clubs over the years have inspired him to start his own with son David, in The Olive Tree restaurant at Garners Garden Centre.

The Silverdale eatery is only usually open during the day – but on the evening of June 1 drinkers and diners will feel like they’re stepping into a completely different venue.

Staff member Valentina Vintila is hoping the new idea will prove a hit.

The 29-year-old, from Silverdale, said: “The band we’ve got, the Coffin Dodgers, are old friends of George’s and a few weeks ago we had a party here for staff and friends, and they played. They have been going for a long time, and we all enjoyed it a lot. I thought the girl who played on the saxophone was amazing!

“Jazz is the most relaxing music, so it seems to fit in with a garden centre better than say, a rock night.”

Music-lovers can come along and watch the Coffin Dodgers perform for £4 or £10 if they also want to tuck into a special curry meal.

She added: “We’ll be moving some of the furniture, like the settees, and putting in a dance floor, as well as the stage area. There will be a paid bar too. I hope to see lots of people dancing, I think it will be hard not to!

“If we can get it going regularly, the idea would be to potentially serve different types of cuisine, depending on the night and the customers. It will be dictated a lot by what the customers want.

“We have lots of regular customers – it’s like a family, everybody knows everybody. But we’re also trying to attract different people, maybe that don’t usually come here. We’re going to see if it works, and how many people we get.”

If the first night is successful, the plan is for the restaurant to host jazz nights regularly every month or few months.

Fellow staff member Nikki Underwood, from Clayton, has worked at the Olive Tree for three years.

The 42-year-old said: “We have thought about doing music nights before so after the party, we thought ‘why not?’.

“Before that event, if somebody had told me there would be jazz, I wouldn’t have been that fussed. But the band were very good, so I hope people give it a try and I’m sure they will enjoy it like I did.”

Regular customer Susan Roberts hopes to attend the jazz night.

The 69-year-old, from Silverdale, said: “I’ve been coming here for years. I’m a bit more of a rock and roll fan, but my husband likes jazz, so all being well we’re hoping to go along.

“I come into the restaurant up to three times a week, for a coffee, before I go into town. A jazz night would be a nice change. I imagine it will have a different feel at night.

“I think people will get on board with the idea. The place thrives because they try different things.”

The Olive Tree is currently open Monday to Saturday, from 9.30am to 4pm, and Sunday from 10am to 4pm. In the summer they open until 6pm.

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