Shannon Hoyt-

The Menomonie, Eau Claire and Chippewa areas have provided pockets of ambient jazz, blues and acoustic genres of music. Until now, however, there was no striking claim to a jazz venue in our locality.

The Lakely is a new addition of the Oxbow Hotel located in Eau Claire.The restaurant also functions as a jazz club, and since its opening on Oct. 1, it has become a modern Midwest atmosphere of various jazz combinations from the region.

“The idea, in part, was to try to elevate the jazz scene specifically. Out at the University of Eau Claire, they have a very strong jazz program,” said Nick Meyer, co-founder of the Lakely.

The newly founded restaurant is now an opportunity for local, regional and even international talents. With local jazz playing in the success of the Lakely and the network of musicians including Justin Vernon and Sean Carey, there is no telling what featured artists will take the stage.

“The restaurant is very small, and it creates an intimate environment,” said Jake Smith, server at the Lakely, “[And] is something that a lot of people at Stout would appreciate.”

Although he has only worked for a few weeks so far, Smith notes that the mood of jazz presented in the restaurant creates a unique taste that would not normally be found elsewhere. The strong creative community on campus would also find the new experience and exposure satisfying.

However, jazz is not the only sound that will appear on stage. The owners are collaborating to host other genres of music as well.

“A lot of good quality stuff is going to be happening,” finished Meyer.

The Lakely was created to provide the community with an uncommon genre of entertainment and recognition of local talent. The stage is a place of surprise, whether that be Vernon and other musicians spinning records, or visits from international groups passing through.

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