Smoke opened for business on April 9, 1999. Co-owners Paul Stache and Frank Christopher are carrying on a three-decade tradition of jazz at this location formerly known as Augie’s Jazz Bar. When Augie’s closed in 1998, Paul and Frank pooled their resources to reopen the club but were unable to keep the name. Part of the Augie's legend was that frequent patron and author Paul Auster based his Augie character in the screenplay for "Smoke" on the real life Augie. In tribute to his legacy, Paul and Frank renamed the club Smoke.
The room has seating for just over fifty, which ensures that every listener is close to the action. During Smoke's renovation, the primary focus was on creating an unparalleled room for music...and it shows. The acoustics are some of the best anywhere. Pianist David Hazeltine remarked, “I love playing this room. It’s rare that the piano can be heard as clearly as it is in this club.” Harold Mabern added, “It’s the best jazz club in the world.” In the decade since its opening, jazz has continued to thrive at 106th and Broadway and adding a few new chapters to that old Augie’s legend.
Smoke is now a restaurant, too, and is particularly proud of its association with renowned chef Patricia Williams. Patricia's extraodinary culinary career includes stints at Sarabeth's Kitchen, City Wine & Cigar Company, Berkeley Bar & Grill, Butterfield 81, and Morrels. Her passion for cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients is clear from her menu for Smoke.