Thursday, 9 May 2013

Joie de Vivre – the joy of life

41 King Street, Warwick, Queensland

It was like digging for coal and finding gold completely by chance.  It’s not quite a restaurant or a café, or a club, nor an art gallery; it’s more like a dinner club or a jazz club, or all of these things rolled into one.  And as far as I know, Joie de Vivre doesn't advertise, it’s all word of mouth, and that’s how I first heard about it, from one of my Warwick contacts who told me that the hottest local buzz was that this is somewhere really special.  Somewhere different.  Somewhere I had to experience.


I didn’t waste any time, I high tailed it over to King Street to the century old building with the charming façade and found the shop I was looking for and it was closed.  I was standing out the front writing down the contact number when the door opened and the most excited person I have met in a long time practically dragged me inside to have a look around.  The large room was tastefully decorated in a bohemian artsy style with paintings, sketches and Moulin Rouge play bills adorning the walls.  The mismatched tables and chairs only added to the charm and feel of the place. 

                            "Jazz Aperitif"
                                                                 Deeny and Kelly

The lady was no other than the proprietor Deeny Kohler-Caporale.  She speaks with a mysterious accent I couldn’t quite place (is it French? Is it Brazilian? Who cares?), and an enthusiasm for music, art, food and people that is so infectious I couldn’t wait to book a table.  She was so sorry that I had missed her Edith Piaf night that was a rousing success but not to worry as there is a jazz and tapas night coming up and I wouldn’t want to miss that. 

Deeny held my attention so easily with her flamboyant way of expressing herself.  Of course we will come to the jazz and tapas night.  Just try to stop me.  It turns out that joie de vivre is only open one night a week to the public and caters to private functions a couple of nights a week.  It’s rather exclusive but that’s how Deeny wants it.  Every night has to be special to her patrons.  She focuses all of her passion into her weekly soirees


And that’s what we found when we arrived for the jazz night.  The atmosphere was amazing.  Every seat was taken and we were seated with other couples who were equally impressed with the swinging jazz atmosphere. 

“Jazz Aperitif” is a three piece Darling Downs jazz band that were grooving away in the front of the restaurant and they are a tight unit to be sure.  It was great entertainment just to watch the drummer paradidling around the rim of his bass drum and skimming the edge of his cymbals and the double bass player worked his way around the huge fret board.   The piano player created the wonderful jazz melodies that had toes tapping and bodies rocking in their chairs.

Deeny took the microphone to welcome everyone and say a few words about the upcoming tapas dishes that would be soon making their way to our tables, but we were gobsmacked when she called out a time to the band and broke into song.   We were treated to a brilliant rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s At Last followed by a Nat King Cole and then a Ray Charles classic.  My goodness the room was in awe of the extraordinary talent of Deeny Kohler-Caporale.

The night had well and truly begun under the dim lights of the chandeliers with the wine flowing and the jazz pumping.  Plates of wonderful food magically appeared on each table and continued to be passed around among the laughter and frivolity.  Pastries and patties, gourmet meats and exotic dips with toasted flat bread.  There was more music, more food and wine, more laughter and more applause.  The hours flew by and the guests were wanting more, more, more.  What a great night.

It’s easy to look back and see that Joie de Vivre is a massive success and cherished nightspot in Warwick.  The jazz nights are mixed with foreign movie dinning nights, Philosophy nights, Book readings and art appreciation nights amongst other creative events.  All highlighted with Tapas, French, South American and other beautiful cuisines and of course the ever effervescent personality of Deeny Kohler-Caporale as your host.

Deeny’s “Joie de Vivre” is all about art, food, and music.  It’s all about love and people.  

It’s all about “The Joy of Life”.

Don’t forget that Joie de Vivre café is open during the week so you can come and have some lunch, a cuppa and a delicious home made desert with Deeny anytime.  Deeny has a couple of fantastic jazz nights planned during the Warwick “Jumpers and Jazz in July” festival, so book early.  You won’t be disappointed. Oh, and look her up on Facebook.
Bon Appetite


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