Laid-back lounge

Vodka cocktails, atmosphere draw crowd to new jazz bar on Broadway
Wednesday, April 21, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:19 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Columbia has a new watering hole with the opening of Sapphire Lounge at 1201 E. Broadway, Suite C.

The bar, which opened about six months ago, is owned by husband and wife Scott and Robin Ayers. Robin Ayers has been the owner of Teller’s Gallery and Bar downtown since it opened about six years ago.

The inside story

Scott Ayers says they decided to open the lounge after noticing there were none like it in downtown Columbia. They have modeled Sapphire Lounge after popular jazz lounges. The lounge has a simple, sophisticated look. There are colorful, subdued lights that give a comfortable feel. In one room is a pool table and bar tables with stools. Extra seating was one thing that the Ayerses added to their lounge.

The space itself was already a bar, so Scott Ayers says the bar equipment needed little adjustment. Besides the additional and improved-quality tables and chairs, a coat of paint was about all the place needed for the couple to achieve the jazz lounge feel they were hoping for.

Drink specials

Sapphire Lounge has specials most nights, and Thursdays are pretty busy, Scott Ayers says. The lounge has specials on eight-ounce martinis on Thursdays with Players Extreme Vodka. Popular drinks include the Mandtango Cosmo with Players Extreme Mandtango-infused vodka, a mix of mandarin orange and tangerine, sweet and sour mix and a splash of cranberry juice, and the Extremely Hawaiian cocktail with Players Extreme coconut rum, pineapple juice and blue curacao.

Music and more

Every other Friday, a jazz band plays. The house band on these nights calls itself the Jazz Cocktails but there are other bands that play , as well. There is a cover charge only on nights when a band plays, and it is no more than $2 or $3.

The Ayerses rent out their lounge for private parties and work with Columbia caterers, mainly with Teller’s. Scott Ayers says they are willing to work with any caterer.

Sapphire Lounge draws a diverse crowd, including college students and some older patrons, Scott Ayers says. The hours are 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

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