What’s in a job: Jazzy crew’s secret ingredient to the hotspot

ST. GEORGE — When it comes to feeding stomachs and souls, the commitment of one crew to patrons and one another is a key ingredient in the coffee shop/live music venue’s recipe that makes it one of Southern Utah’s most popular hangouts.

Jazzy's chef Chris Loveless , a six-year veteran that takes pride in cooking from scratch, Jazzy's Rock 'n' Roll Grill, St. George, Utah, Sept. 1, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Jazzy’s chef Chris Loveless , a six-year veteran that takes pride in cooking from scratch, Jazzy’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Grill, St. George, Utah, Sept. 1, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Jazzy’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Grill’s loyal crew of baristas, cooks, doormen, security and sound techs are committed to three things, chef Chris Loveless said: Jazzy’s success, local area talent and each other.

Jazzy’s opened its doors at 285 N. Bluff St. in St. George more than 15 years ago. Since then it has created a vibrant niche in the local community. The commitment of its working crew is evident and creates an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie.

The restaurant’s history is as rich as the coffee beans roasted on the premises, Loveless said. Jazzy’s humble beginnings trace back to locally roasted coffee beans and a man with a dream, Reid Smeltzer, who started selling specialty drinks from a coffee cart inside Red Cliffs Mall.

“The man always had two passions,” Loveless said, “coffee and music.”

As chef, Loveless takes pride in creating menu items from scratch. He has worked at Jazzy’s for more than six years and said he has seen just about everything.

Before taking to the kitchen, Loveless’s journey at Jazzy’s started when he was performing in a band. Through those connections, Loveless met Smeltzer and began working for him shortly thereafter.

Candy's River House, a band from Salt Lake City, plays at Jazzy's Rock 'n' Roll Grill, St. George, Utah, Sept. 1, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Candy’s River House, a band from Salt Lake City, plays at Jazzy’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Grill, St. George, Utah, Sept. 1, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

“What drew me to Jazzy’s was fate,” Loveless said. “And here I still am.”

There is a strong feeling of family within the crew, he said, and the bond makes for a good working environment in addition to creating an atmosphere that draws people to the place.

“It’s made Jazzy’s what it is today,” Loveless said. “It’s an institution.”

While Loveless works behind the scenes, the person responsible for keeping the establishment safe and the alcoholic beverages inside the building is Shane Stewart, head of security and Jazzy’s doorman.

Jazzy’s commitment to supporting local bands was one thing that attracted Stewart to the business from the start, he said. Its ability to offer different bands, music types and styles also allows for a diverse crowd to appreciate its other offerings.

“I like helping … the local music scene,” Stewart said. “To be a part of that and help kind of build that is way cool.”

L-R: Shane Stewart and Megan Huard a few hours before a show at Jazzy’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Grill, St. George, Utah, Sept. 1, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

When it comes to putting on an actual show, Megan Huard has worked at Jazzy’s for almost two years as a sound tech. She typically works three nights a week, including the popular “Open Mic Night.”

“I get the bands all set up,” Huard said. “I take care of them and make them sound good.”

Huard said she loves working at the popular nightspot and is committed to the crew. When asked what keeps her there, she summed it up in one word: family.

As one crucial microcosm of over 14 million restaurant employees in the United States, the Jazzy’s crew will be working Labor Day weekend. Why? Because providing their special brand of “community” is what they do.

About the series “What’s in a job”

Labor Day invites us to give “tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country,” according to the Labor Department.

St. George News bring this ““What’s in a job” series of stories over Labor Day weekend to recognize workers whose contributions may go unnoticed, who may be less visible to the general public than others and to unpack some of what goes into everyday jobs performed by everyday people in our communities. Work is a good thing. We honor it and those who do it.

Other stories in the series:

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Resources

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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