This page is about two venues that were located at 369 Cedar Ave. in St. Paul:
- The Take 5 Jazz club
- The Blue Chip
TAKE 5 JAZZ
An ad for Take 5 Jazz appears in July 1972.
It’s difficult to know how long it lasted, because the name of the place is in an unsearchable font.
THE BLUE CHIP
Ron Mattox took over the Take 5 and turned it into the Blue Chip.
Will Jones tells us that the Blue Chip had a Wall Street theme:
Fashioned out of the not-so-old Take Five jazz club, it’s nestled in the parking complex in the shadow of the Osborne Building at 369 Cedar Ave. So. About all owner Ron Maddox did to remodel the place was change some lighting and install a huge electronic board that flashes the New York Stock Exchange quotations, as in a brokerage house. After the market closes, the board continues to flash the closing numbers and continues as a kind of light show through the evening. Cocktail doilies are $100 bills featuring a picture of Maddox, and Wall Street Journal reprints cover the menus and uniforms of bartenders and waitresses. (Minneapolis Tribune, August 20, 1973)
John Gehrke of the Minneapolis Tribune wrote:
While businessmen aren’t overwhelming the Blue Chip, many go there for entertainment. You’ll also see an occasional judge or legislator, and the city council convened there one recent afternoon for undisclosed purposes. (December 3, 1973)
Facebook and Other Facts:
- The Blue Chip had “Large Lung” contests in about 1973.
- Maddox also installed a Dow Jones News Service teletype machine.
- The waitresses and bartenders wore shirts printed with reproductions of pages from the Wall Street Journal.
- In August 1975, an ad appeared, selling chairs from the Blue Chip.
- Norm Stratton was the lead singer of the house band Second Coming. The band hit it big and moved on to Vegas.
- Members of the Minnesota Fighting Saints hockey team hung out there.
On April 26, 1978, owner Ron Maddox was elected to the St. Paul City Council. A brou-ha-ha erupted in July 1978 when people objected to a bar owner voting on liquor license matters. At the time, Maddox said he was in the process of selling the Blue Chip. Indeed, wantads looking for a buyer begin to appear on December 2, 1976. An article in the Tribune dated July 14, 1978, described Maddox as a former St. Paul bar owner, so he must have sold the Blue Chip very shortly before that date.
Ron Maddox was a huge booster of his adopted City of St. Paul. He apparently owned a hardware store (Ron Maddox Highland Repair) and operated an insurance business, but his real profession was bar owner, having stakes in seven of them throughout his lifetime, according to his obituary. Some highlights are below (more to come):
March 1, 1970 – January 1972: Denny’s Loft
Blue Chip: August 1973 to July 1978
Before December 1973: Plucked Raven
Before December 1973 to February 1976: Green Lantern – on 369 Cedar with the Blue Chip
October 20, 1974 – April 1976: Fringe Benefit Bar, located at 312 Central Ave. NE in Minneapolis (partial ownership)
In 1982, Maddox heard about the music festival idea while in Chicago, and organized the Taste of Minnesota for first time.
Maddox died from complications of strokes on February 19, 2010.