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Fifty well-dressed people gathered in front of 315 Main Street this evening, waiting in the 105 degree heat for the long-awaited grand opening of Porter's Jazz Cafe in downtown Little Rock. No one seemed surprised when the announcement came a little before 6 p.m. that the club was not in fact ready to open.
The tarp-covered construction materials on the sidewalk, the men wandering around in hardhats, and the unfinished entryway — it was missing the door — should have clued them in. People were allowed inside for a look-see, after the Chamber of Commerce did their bit with giant scissors. (Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola was on hand for the event.)
Inside, the club looked and smelled like, well, a construction site. The main floor had a couple of crushed velvet-covered benches and a table or two strewn about for effect, but the three booths were unfinished, the bar unstocked and the floors in need of some serious attention. The basement, where the stage is, was taped off to visitors.
A Porter's spokewoman claimed that it will all be ready for a Saturday night opening, but I for one am not going to stand in the heat again to find out.
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