by Ardie Arvidson
A jazz-themed tapas and spirits bar Jazz on Dargan is filling a need in Florence, and to validate its contribution to the downtown, the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce recognized Jazz on Dargan as its Quarter 1 Business of the Quarter on Feb. 11 during a meeting of the Florence City Council.
Thomas Mitchel, owner, and Deidrich Thomas, operations manager, were given a framed proclamation signed by the mayor and all members of the council. The proclamation also grants the honorees a trial chamber membership.
Business of the Quarter is a partnership of the city of Florence and the Greater Florence Chamber to recognize local businesses for contributions to community development, growth and civic engagement.
“The Chamber looks forward to Jazz on Dargan’s continued efforts to help make Florence an even better place to eat, live and do business,” said Les Echols, director of community and minority enterprise for the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.
In response to the announcement, Thomas said, “We wanted to give Florence County something that has been lacking, a jazz experience.”
He considers the impact the business has made with revitalization of the downtown as one reason it received the honor.
“We are in tune with what they have envisioned for Florence,” he said.
“I am very proud and excited to receive this award and for us to be considered after being here for only two quarter is something,” he said.
Mitchell said they have tried to be active in the community. He is a full-time employee with 35 years at Duke Energy and he owns two eating establishments in Florence. In addition to Jazz on Dargan, he owns City Grill.
Thomas said they wanted to acquaint this area with many different types of jazz in a “warm and inviting place with good customer service and good food.
This award is validation that they are doing something right, he said.
He said the award will make them more proactive in trying to give Florence more of what it deserves and is lacking – a little piece of the Bayou.”
There is definitely a New Orleans vibe, but the atmosphere was created solely for Florence.
“We have such a diverse customer base,” Thomas said, “young and old.”
Most Friday and Saturday nights, they provide live entertainment, often coming from the street to entice people in.
“It means a lot to us that we are providing something that the city wants, and we want to do,” Mitchell said. “It does mean a lot to us.”
Mitchell said there had been a jazz venue in Florence previously, but it didn’t serve food and it closed. He said he had always thought it a good concept.
He said now they “bridge the gap” left by the closing of the other jazz-themed business.
Jazz on Dargan opened on July 31, 2018.
The menu features Southern comfort foods such as fried green tomatoes, fried okra, collard greens and black-eyed peas. It also offers Lowcounty and Creole delicacies.
Jazz on Dargan is open Friday through Sunday from 5 p.m. until. For more information or reservations, call 843-407-6311.
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