The Valley’s oldest blues/R&B joint is in the market for a new owner. Char’s Has the Blues, which has hosted live music since the mid-1980s, has been shut down for the last three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic and is now up for sale.
The Melrose District business, which is located on Seventh Avenue south of Camelback Road, temporarily shuttered since mid-March following Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s order closing all bars statewide except for to-go service and deliveries.
Char’s, which only serves alcohol, doesn't fall under this exemption and has been closed ever since.
Earlier this month, the 2,245-square-foot property was listed for sale on LoopNet, an online marketplace for commercial real estate. The asking price is $485,000 and includes all of the bar's assets, including the name Char's Has The Blues. Its Series 6 liquor license is available for an additional $110,000.
According to records from the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control and other state agencies, Char’s is owned by Peter Chedid, a resident of New Jersey and Phoenix.
Phoenix New Times was unable to speak with Chedid, though a member of his family confirmed Char's operating status and the fact that it's currently for sale. They declined to comment further on either matter.
Char’s first opened in 1985. It’s featured live R&B, soul, funk, and blues from local bands and musicians for more than three decades, including such performers as Laydee Jai, Larry Bailey, and Soul Power. In recent years, it's featured performances seven nights a week while its parquet dance floor has been typically packed on certain nights.
As we described in last year's Best of Phoenix issue, Char's was a unique milieu for live music.
"It's totally dark inside, with the dimmest hint of red light guiding you to the restroom, your seat, or back to the bar, which also makes it the perfect blues club. Char's self-describes as being Phoenix's Home of the Blues, with in-house performances by Sir Harrison and Friends, as well as recurring jam sessions and touring blues artists. Char's claims its musicians play the best blues, R&B, soul, and funk the Valley has to offer — and there's a reason blues is named first."
Stay tuned for further details as they develop.
Editor's note: A previously published version of this story incorrectly reported the bar was permanently closed. It has since been corrected. Phoenix New Times sincerely regrets the error.
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