Madison music venue, restaurant owners excited about COVID-19 restrictions lifting

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Live music venue owners are thrilled to bring back performances when the Dane County mask mandate lifts on Tuesday.

Café CODA Owner Hanah Jon Taylor said Jazz music is an essential art form.

”Art is essential and I think that the pandemic has proven that to be true,” Jon Taylor said. ”When we have art in our lives and in our immediate proximity, when we can hear it, touch it and feel it in our everyday lives it makes life more enhancing.”

Café CODA had canceled all programming and scheduled concerts from the end of December until the end of February, citing a concern for the community at large. The business had some livestream events, but now feels more comfortable to hold events now that Dane Co. health officials are letting the mask mandate expire.

Harmony Bar and Grill Owner Brennan Nardi is bringing music back as soon as Friday night. Adhering to Public Health Madison Dane County guidance, they will not require patrons or staff to wear masks.

”For two years we’ve been following the rules very closely,” Nardi said. “My staff is fully vaccinated and most of us are boosted. We’ve been doing the right thing and now the right thing is to get back into business.”

Nardi said she’s excited to provide concerts that make neighborhood regulars smile. Many events over the past two months were canceled due to COVID-19 complications.

“They’ve been loyal incredible customers the past two years but I think they’re ready to comeback, enjoy themselves, listen to live music and eat great food,” she said.

”So I ask you,” Jon Taylor said. “Is art not essential? I believe that it is.”

He turns 72 on Wednesday and plans to celebrate with Jazz performance at Café CODA.

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