A man who goes by Uncle Harold, who has seen downtown Burlington dwindle and re-develop over the past 30 years, has recently taken on his newest business venture with Jazz N’ More, a bar, club and event center on Spring Street.
Jazz N’ More acts as a bar during its regular weekend night hours, and since its opening on Nov. 12, 2015, customers have been lining out the door for music, drinks and fun.
“I love it, here with the nice, clean and refreshing atmosphere,” said Barbara McNeely, a Wilmington resident who frequents Jazz N’ More when she visits her family in Burlington. “Wilmington, even though it’s a pretty big city, has nothing quite like this. This is a unique place.”
Harold had decades of prior entrepreneurship and business experience before opening Jazz N’ More. Starting his career at age 17, he has since worked in the lawn service, hair care, beauty supply, manufacturing and water business industries, and even owned an old night club named Corvette, previously located on North Church Street in Burlington.
“Jazz N’ More was a great opportunity,” he said. “Most of the work in this building was already done, and it was something in the area we didn’t have.”
Harold is keen to accommodate customers’ wishes, offering the space for rent on days it’s not otherwise open.
“If you need a place for your event, for your birthday party — we just had a sweet sixteen the other day — or wedding reception, graduation celebration or even corporate meeting, we try to accommodate any event,” he said. “Even if it’s on a weekday or something, we will accommodate any time of day.”
Events that include those under the age of 21 are held during the day. Otherwise, hours of operation are Thursday-Saturday night 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. and a “lazy Sunday” evening 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Harold also plans theme nights and performances. Thursdays are often reserved for fundraisers, Fridays open for live music and, on Saturdays, a DJ usually comes for R&B.
“Sometimes, we’ll have a color theme too, and everyone’s gotta wear that,” Harold said. “Like this weekend, we’re having a red party, so you can take out that red dress you haven’t worn in forever, or get that old red tie and wear it out.”
With any bustling night at the club, there is going to be a cover charge. But Harold has implemented a member system.
Cover is $15 for guests, but there are two membership options available. The $10 membership lasts one year and allows members to get in for free on Thursday and Sunday nights and pay a $10 cover for other nights. The VIP membership costs $100, lasts one year and allows members to pay no cover at all.
Harold said Jazz N’ More gets around 60 people each major night. About half of those are first-timers at the club.
Harold noted that with Burlington’s proximity to Elon’s campus, he hopes students and faculty will use Jazz N’ More as an alternative event space as the two towns continue to evolve.
“I can see the growth each week, but I’d like to see it grow even more,” he said. “I see downtown Burlington growing, and us reaching out to the Elon crowd soon. We would just love Elon-sponsored events, especially Homecoming. I can see this being a good venue for that: You guys are needing space to have your parties or alumni events.”
Besides Homecoming, Harold recognizes that events are what draw any crowd to a space. Whether it be a party or a theme, he knows that how people get downtown has shifted over the years.
“In the entertainment business today, versus, say, 30 years ago, where you could basically go back in the building, get a DJ to play some music and let folks know you were there, and people came out looking for somewhere to go,” he said. “They don’t just come out to come out anymore. They want to know what’s going on first, what event is going on — that’s what really brings people out today.”