On the morning of November 1, 1983, the staff of the popular downtown club Jefferson Square gathered at the site, which had been devastated by a fire hours earlier. As former staffer Debi Walker remembers it, owner Jake Schorr said, "If we stick together, we can rebuild and make this thing alive again." So the staff helped Schorr find a new location and salvaged glasses, cutlery, whatever equipment they could from the burned building. A few weeks later, on December 7th, the North End opened at 346 N. Main in the Pinch District. The dedicated staff was not impressed. It was so much smaller than Jefferson Square. They saw it as temporary. They suggested calling it Hiatus.
Let's just say the North End, which became Westy's in 2004, grew on them. On Tuesday, December 2nd, there will be a reunion party marking the 25th anniversary of the opening of the spot that became known for its late-night hours, impressive music line-up, and, of course, that world-famous ice-cream-topped, hot fudge pie.
Planning for the event began, appropriately enough, around Halloween. A Facebook page was created, and people began posting pictures from the old days. Some of those photos will be seen in a slideshow during the reunion. Klaudio & Rico, Peter Hyrka, Steve Reid & Friends, members from FreeWorld (pictured), and others will take the stage once again. There will be memorabilia from Jefferson Square and the North End and a performance of a song written by staffers to honor Schorr.
"It's amazing how many employees have kept in touch with Jake through the years," says Walker, who is now Schorr's partner. "When they come to town, they often come visit him at 346 N. Main."
Jefferson square/North end reunion party, tuesday, december 2nd, 6 p.m. to midnight.