Music will die at Blues Central after one last jam

Mike Dunham
Bill Roth

One of Anchorage's most venerable music bars, Blues Central, will close this weekend with a big jam session for bands that have been associated with the club over the years.

Owner Frank Dahl told the Daily News that the location has been sold to the state of Alaska. Blues Central would have been 50 years old this September. It was opened as The Chef's Inn by Dale Moorman on Sept. 10, 1964. Pianist/vocalist Chuck Miller -- known for a single top 10 pop hit, "House of Blue Lights" -- performed live for dancers on the tiny floor.

Bob Weel, the second owner, rebuilt the club after a fire in 1989. Realtor Adrian Jaime bought it in 1994 and made it into a blues venue.

Dahl had experience running bars and restaurants during the pipeline boom but was concentrating on real estate when Jaime listed the club for sale with his agency in 1999. Dahl, who remembered the place fondly from his younger years in Spenard, wound up buying the property.

Over the years the close-quarters watering hole with better-than-average food hosted stars like John Lee Hooker and Johnny Winter along with local heroes like Joey Fender, Backstreet Blues and Soulman Sam.

Dahl said he will retain the name and the liquor license. He plans to continue promoting area concerts and organizing the annual Blues Train event but said he hopes to spend less time in Alaska and more time at his horse ranch in Arizona. "So I'm literally riding off into the sunset."

The Diamonds will play on Friday, Dahl said. The Saturday jam session will start at 7 p.m.

Reach Mike Dunham at or 257-4332.