Imagine turning a dream you have had for years into reality? That’s exactly what happened for Inez Collins Holloway of New Bern.
For six years, Holloway had a vision of a place where people could come to sit and relax and listen to the smooth sounds of jazz music or some soft pop, country or rhythm and blues or just enjoy a good conversation.
In March 2021, she opened Jazz It Up, which she calls a lounge and not a bar, where everyone can stop in and feel comfortable and relaxed.
The lounge is located at 1017B Broad Street in the Five Points area of downtown New Bern.
“I had been looking for a building for awhile and everything was either not available for the purpose I wanted it for or had just been rented,” Holloway said. “I happened to see the for rent sign on this location and the owner said someone had just looked at it the day before…they decided not to take it…it was a blessing for me.”
She has been renting the building since March 2020, but due to the COVID pandemic and the state mandated restrictions, she was able to take her time to get the building exactly how she wanted it.
Holloway said she loved the idea of being located in Five Points. She grew up in Craven Terrace and has watched the changes to the area over the years.
“I am so glad to see Five Points thriving again with so many new businesses opening up and prospering and I am happy to be a part of that,” she said.
Holloway is the owner of Jes-Nez Cleaning Service, a business she has had for 19 years. During that time, she has had the opportunity to see beautifully decorated homes.
“Some of my clients started giving me furniture and different things and I would just put them in storage,” she said. “As I started decorating Jazz It Up, I was able to put those gifts to good use with this business.”
Jazz It Up has a very unique setting. There is a main sitting room and 4 smaller rooms, which unintentionally provides the ability for social distancing. Each room has its own theme. Her favorite room of all is the Beach Room. Holloway said she has a client, Dr. Will Harvey and his wife Kristy of Beaufort, whose home was located on the waterfront in Beaufort. The home was decorated with seashells in nearly every room. Holloway found the atmosphere and the surrounding waters of historic Beaufort to be amazing and so relaxing. The Beach Room reminds of her that.
The Boom Boom Room
The Beach Room
The Red Room
The Blue Room
The New York Room
The lounge is open from 7 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the age limit is 45 and up.
Each night offers something different. There’s Twisted Tuesday with drink specials all night, Women Wine Wednesday which is a special night for women with games and other activities, but men are welcome.
On Thursday, the club invites all bikers to come by and fellowship with each other and the weekend often features live music or local DJ’s playing all your favorites. Holloway also plans to open a Cigar Lounge in the rear of the club within the next few months.
A grand opening and ribbon cutting is planned for Aug. 21 at 4 p.m.
Jazz It Up offers a membership at $5 for the year which allows for free entry to certain events and other membership perks. The building is also available for rent for private events at a rate of $250.
Micah Grimes, who owns the complex on Broad Street where Jazz It Up is located serves as the host/bartender as well as an event planner.
“Micah has really been a great help to me during this process with helping me get my ABC permit and keeping me on my toes with all the paperwork that’s involved”, said Holloway. “He really goes above and beyond to ensure that our customers have a great time when they stop by”, she said.
With several other bars/clubs in the area including Thirty Sumn Ultra Lounge on Glenburnie Road owned by Kenneth Moulton and the recently opened Flo’s Extravaganza Bar & Lounge on Neuse Boulevard owned by Kenneth and Florence Jones, downtown New Bern bars such as Blackbeard’s and Prohibition and James City’s The Garage and BrUtopia, there are many different places to go for a night out in New Bern.
Holloway said she has received outstanding support from other club/bar/brewery owners in New Bern and is very grateful for the friendship and patronage that they have shown her.
Holloway graduated from New Bern High School in 1979. She is the mother of two, a son and a daughter, and has four grandchildren.
My children and grandchildren are my biggest supporters said Holloway. She wants to be able to help them with their future plans for college. Her oldest granddaughter Micah Eustache will be attending the prestigious Wellesley College in Massachusetts in the fall on a full scholarship.
“I am so proud of all them and they push me to do what I do”, said Holloway.
For more information about Jazz It Up, call Inez at 252-6661 or visit on them on Facebook.