Local entertainer Wes Hamrick is partnering with Scott Lewitt, owner of Sinatra’s restaurant in Cassadaga, to open a piano bar and jazz club in DeLand. It will be in the Artisan Downtown, at 215 S. Woodland Blvd., which also holds a boutique hotel and a restaurant. Hamrick plans to call the piano bar Schroeder’s (think about it).
Hamrick says he plans to open in mid July, along with a new restaurant in the building. The restaurant and lounge spaces are separate, although the piano bar will likely have a limited food menu. Hamrick is known to music lovers in the Greater Orlando area for his piano playing at the Grand Bohemian and at the lobby piano in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. He says he will continue his work in those venues (most of his time is at the Disney hotel) but play a couple of nights in DeLand. He’ll call on other musicians to fill in the schedule.
“I’ve been wanting to do this forever,” says Hamrick. But he resisted opening something more central because, he says, most of the people in Orlando or Winter Park prefer to talk and socialize — they don’t go in to listen to the music. Schroeder’s, he says, will be more like a music club in New York that people go in to to see a performer’s “set.”
Hamrick will be taking his own seven-foot Baldwin piano, which he is having outfitted with a Plexiglass top. He also may take his strolling piano to visit the restaurant side of the building now and then.
I’ll have more details when it gets closer to the opening.