The Tip Jar’s Wednesday night jams jazz up the scene
I wandered in through a service door trying to find the entrance to The Tip Jar, Toledo’s newest bar and music venue, where the Organic Ingredients, a four-piece jazz band, play every Wednesday evening. I found Jonn Appold of Maumee Bay Brewing Company and Tim Tiderman, organist for the band, waiting for me there to discuss this new venture, an addition to the Oliver House, housed in The Warehouse across the parking lot from the main building.
There’s little signage right now, and the address is difficult to see as you pass by, making you feel like you might have to whisper a password to enter. Part dive, part speakeasy, the ambiance is intimate. The Warehouse— rented out for weddings and other events— has a black curtain inside that delineates the bar area of The Tip Jar with lights strung overhead to create a warm glow as you enjoy a drink from four rotating taps while listening to the sounds of the Organic Ingredients.
Tiderman explains the vision he and John have for this— as of now— Wednesday-night-only nightspot. “There’s a place outside the Village in New York called The 55 Bar,” he says. “It’s downstairs, it’s narrow, and it has black walls like this place. It’s the coolest ambiance, and the musicians work for the tip jar.” An explanation that gives this venue, The Tip Jar, its name.
There aren’t many places left in Toledo where musicians work solely for tips and the passing around the tip jar tradition that exists in cities like New York and New Orleans has gone by the wayside. Appold and Tiderman want to bring that back in a divey setting that seats no more than 60 or so people.
Follow the music
“On a night like tonight, we open the garage doors and the music filters out into the streets,” says Appold, adding that people sometimes meander over from Mutz to check it out. It won’t be hard to miss on nights like this.
You can see what’s on tap, order a pizza or burger from Mutz, which will be brought over to you while you listen to the jazz/blues/rock infusion that the band plays throughout the night. It’s this kind of jam session that Tiderman lives for, and he wants The Tip Jar to be a place where the music isn’t an afterthought, but, instead, the reason people come. It will be an atmosphere where “you can’t get away from the music.” It’s immersive, making the audience appreciate being in the moment, and, “if it got in your musical soul somehow, put some money in there,” he says about the tip jar they’ll have weekly. “On Wednesday nights from 7 to 10pm, it’s the coolest place in Toledo,” Tiderman explains. “It’s a little bit off the beaten path, and that makes it even cooler.”
Hear Organic Ingredients and learn about the latest news on The Tip Jar at the Maumee Bay Brewing Company Facebook page. Open every Wednesday from 7-10pm.
201 Morris St. | 419-243-1302 | mbaybrew.com