If you keep up with me through social media at all, you’ll know that my home away from home is Steampunk Espresso Bar in downtown Natchez, MS. I have shared countless hipsteresque photos of their Italian espresso machine and refurbished industrial atmosphere. Well, the owner of Steampunk, Dub Rogers, has rested his Midas hands onto a new building in Natchez, Smoot’s Grocery.
Smoot’s is not a grocery store where you can walk the isles to fill your belly, but a blues club where you can dance to local music and feed your soul. The building sits on the corner of High Street and Broadway about a stone’s throw or two away from the bluff, depending on your arm. Dub has taken another ruin of days gone by and revamped it into the embodiment of Mississippi’s music scene.
Due to my working in Monroe and timing of homecomings around holidays, I hadn’t gotten to set foot inside the new establishment until last night. Just like the espresso bar two doors down, Smoot’s welcome’s you into a comforting atmosphere as soon as you walk in the door. The walls of the joint are lined with well worn couches, and a standing bar across from the music stage. Another nice touch that separates Smoot’s from other popular bars around town is that it is a no-smoking bar. The room smelled clean, and all of the exposed wood added a nice lagniappe to the atmosphere of the place.
The bar itself is operated by the baristas from the coffee shop, giving Steampunk regulars an instant comfort that once again, their beverage will be crafted by expert hands, although this time it’ll have a different kick!
Smoot’s prides itself on finding real musicians to rock the joint. After all, it is a blues club. The night I went, the band Zydeco Radio was jamming out and had the place quite crowded. The sound of the band was classic cajun, but what I liked in particular was that with a live band rocking, a handful of people dancing, and the rest of the place chatting, that I could still hear myself think. Too often are live band venues overwhelmed by sound and you are forced to yell if you want anyone to hear you. I really appreciated that I could carry on conversation for a minute, and enjoy the live band the next. If you did find the music too loud though, Smoot’s has a very nice wrap around porch connected to it that fits into it’s surroundings. That night was a bit cold for me, but I can foresee myself talking advantage of that area in the month’s to come.
I highly recommend checking out Smoot’s Grocery next time you feel like a night out on the town. Next Friday night they will be hosting the up and coming local band, Bishop Gunn.
Check out Smoot’s Grocery at the following links: