Food & Drink

The Imperial

Nestled in the shadows of the City skyline, in a square block of clubs once ruled by techno, a rich chord from a lone saxophone stands out like a note from the past but somehow new again.

Such was the wish of three young entrepreneurs with roots in the service industries, who longed to create a signature nightclub experience with a Fedora’s tip to the past but firmly rooted in the here and now.

Bretlee Blair, Michael Howe, and Tim Dolan , each man bringing ideas pulled in from their individual orbits, ideas that would eventually coalesce into a solid concept.

The Imperial was born!

The Imperial was born!

Two of these men with artistic persuasions , Bretlee and Michael, created artwork for the space that would convey the trio’s singular style, creating an ambience that’s warm and still very urbane.  Innovative cocktails with roots in the classics shine again with the addition of fire and ice…in this case dry ice.  These gorgeously prepared libations are part theater and fully engage the senses of the patrons and bring them back to this venue time and time again.

And what about that sound?  General Manager, Bretlee, a guitarist and a pianist, brought soul to this joint with the addition of live jazz acts that fill the hall with love and life, and the blues.  Local jazz legends such as David Hamilton, Harvey Cummings, and Steve Daley jam on the small stage and crank out a big sound.  The Imperial takes pride in booking these acts and providing an alternative to the standard top 40 fare of the city.

Since we began with our concept, we have seen it have a huge impact on both the music and the cocktail scene in the Queen City.

We at “Aspire Edition” certainly agree with Bretlee’s  assessment.  Michael Howe and Tim Dolan complete the “Dream Team” , and the Queen City applauds their efforts and vision.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *