Pensacola, Florida
Monday August 21st 2017

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Coming Up Rosie’s

By Shelby Nalepa

Now known to Pensacola natives as the home of the iconic “Dueling Piano Show,” Rosie O’Grady’s actually served as the founding bar of Seville Quarter. With 50 years of Pensacola history under its belt, Rosie’s is celebrating its Golden anniversary over the next 10 days with a slew of special events.

Seville Quarter first opened in 1967 as “Rosie O’Grady’s Warehouse” a beer-and-peanuts saloon, specializing in Dixieland jazz. It was founded by Bob Snow, a Minnesota native and trumpet player in a Dixieland band.

The entrepreneur first fell in love with Pensacola while in Navy flight training and visited the area frequently after he retired from the military to play with his band the South Hangar Six. Snow wanted to open a saloon downtown, even though back then most of the businesses and merchants in Pensacola were in the Cordova area or on their way there.

Snow started Rosie O’Grady’s with only $1,100, transforming the dilapidated Pensacola Cigar and Tobacco Company warehouse on Government Street into a lively saloon serving up Dixieland jazz and good times.  Rosie’s opening night was Aug. 16, 1967.

After Rosie’s success, Snow started to acquire the vacant buildings next door, with dreams of expanding the saloon into something bigger. Lili Marlene’s, a World War I Aviator Pub, was the next room added to the Seville Quarter complex. Phineas Phogg’s, End O’ the Alley, Fast Eddie’s Billiard Parlor, Apple Annie’s Courtyard and Palace Café round out the seven rooms that now make up the Seville Quarter complex.

Current Seville Quarter owner Wilmer Mitchell was Bob Snow’s longtime attorney and friend who participated with Snow in building Seville Quarter over the years and took over operations in 1988. Mitchell, his wife Neddy and their seven children continue the legacy that Snow started.
After five decades of shaping Pensacola’s night life, Rosie O’Grady and Seville Quarter are hosting a 50th Birthday Bash to celebrate the past, present and future of the establishment. The Golden Jubilee Celebration Week will kick off Friday with a ribbon cutting by the Mitchell family proclaiming the coming week “Rosie O’ Grady’s Week.” Honoring the music that shaped Seville Quarter from its founding, the celebration week will feature jazz and Dixie bands and special perks for loyal members and former employees.

Rosie O’Grady’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Week
WHEN: Friday, Aug. 11-Monday Aug. 21
WHERE: Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St.
INFO: sevillequarter.com

Schedule of Events
Jubilee Celebration Kick-off
Friday, Aug. 11, 6–8 p.m. in Rosie O’Grady’s
Come toast the “Pride of Pensacola” with 50 cent wine, draft beer and well cocktails. 50th Anniversary souvenirs will also be available in the gift shop.

Membership Appreciation Night
Saturday, Aug. 12, 6–9 p.m. in Apple Annie’s Courtyard
Seville Quarter wants to thank their loyal members who have supported them through the years. Bring in an old membership card (prior to 2017), and they will give you a voucher for a special membership card valid through 12/30.

Jazz Brunch with Kathy Lyon and Friends
Sunday, Aug. 13, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in Apple Annie’s Courtyard and the Palace Café
The menu will feature traditional brunch favorites (you must try their New Orleans style beignets), plus live jazz music, a fully stocked Bloody Mary bar and specials on champagne, mimosas and screwdrivers.

Blues Society of Pensacola Rolls Back the Clock
Monday, Aug. 14, 7 p.m. in Lili Marlene’s World War I Aviator’s Pub
Twenty years ago the local Blues Society was created in this very room. Over the years many players have graced their stages. On this night many of these musicians will return to entertain and reminisce.

Jazz Night with Geno and Guests
Tuesday, Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m. in Apple Annie’s Courtyard
Seville’s front man, the talented Geno Rosario, has recruited an amazing line-up of musicians for this one of a kind jazz ensemble.

Seville Quarter 50th Anniversary Concert with Vince Vance and the Valiants
Tuesday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m. in Phineas Phogg’s
Step back in time and into the future with Vince Vance and the Valiants. Vance is a master entertainer and the hardest working man in show business. From his wild beginnings on Bourbon Street to multiple trips to the White House, this man and his entourage have entertained millions. You can expect cool costumes, crazy choreography and a 6 foot head of Vince himself.

Rosie O’Grady’s Gala Jubilee Celebration
Wednesday, Aug. 16, 6 p.m.
The soon to be world famous Rosie O’Grady’s Good Time Emporium opened on this very night in 1967.  So tonight the management and staff will recreate that opening night. Founder Bob Snow will lead the Dixieland Band and will roll back the clock five decades with many of the opening night patrons in attendance.

Good Time Gang Reunion
Thursday, Aug. 17, 5–8 p.m. in Rosie O’Grady’s Good Time Emporium
If you ever worked at Seville Quarter, you will not want to miss this evening of memories. They are going to honor the past and toast the future with the sound of Charlie Cetti and the First City Dixieland Jazz Band.  There will be special guest entertainers and a slide show of pictures from the past five decades. Anyone wearing their Seville Quarter name tag will get a commemorative t-shirt featuring art by Tim Banfell.  Libations will be at Happy Hour prices and 50th Anniversary souvenirs will be available in the gift shop.

Seville Quarter’s Gallery Night Art Show, Art in the Streets Celebrating 50 Years
Friday, Aug. 18, 5–9 p.m.
It’s Gallery Night, so that means Seville Quarter has once again invited over 70 local artists and vendors to showcase their skills, crafts, and artwork in the street in front of the historical complex. Government Street will be closed to vehicles so you can stroll at your leisure and enjoy the sights. Artist and Singing Suwannee Tim Banfell will be signing limited copies of the 50th Anniversary poster and creating caricatures so you can remember this historic week.

DJ Showcase
Saturday, Aug. 19, 9 p.m. in Phineas Phogg’s
Seville Quarter is the home of Pensacola’s first and longest operating disco and this night will celebrate the line-up of DJ’s that have spun in this room. Hosted by current house DJ Mr. Lao entertainers from the decades will make cameo appearances in person and by video feeds.

Brunch with the Sounds of Charlie Cetti and the First City Dixieland Jazz Band
Sunday, Aug., 20, 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. in Apple Annie’s Courtyard and the Palace Café
Chef Cameron is serving a sumptuous brunch buffet priced at the magic number of $19.67 (plus tax and gratuity). There will also be a la carte items. The First City Dixieland Jazz Band will have you tapping your toes and dancing in the aisles. For reservations, call 434-6211.

Pensacola Jazz Gumbo Presents 50 Years of Dixieland
Monday, Aug., 21, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
The ten-day anniversary celebration closes out with an evening sponsored by Pensacola Jazz.  Jazz Gumbo is $10 for Jazz Pensacola members and guests, $12 for non-members, free for students with ID and military in uniform.  Admission includes a cup of Aunt Jessie’s award winning seafood gumbo and enters you into a door prize drawing.