The music you'll hear tonight at Club Colony in Scott goes well with anything, whether you're looking to cut a steak or cut a rug.
It's Take Two -- Joe Forcucci and Margie Bendzsuk -- performing a mix of standards, light jazz and easy listening for those with a more mature ear.
It's the perfect sound for Club Colony, the Cochran road fixture that reopened six weeks ago.
Perhaps you're familiar with it by its original name -- The Colony Restaurant. When it opened in 1958, it was Pittsburgh's first steak house and the dining destination for the region's industry leaders. As recorded in old editions of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "It was practically a clubhouse for U.S. Steel, Gulf Oil, Westinghouse and PPG executives. In the '60s and '70s, this happening place was a magnet for visiting celebrities. The likes of President Carter, Liza Minnelli, O.J. Simpson and Eva Gabor all ate there."
The restaurant closed in 2001 and went through a couple variations over the years before its current reincarnation.
Of course, with new owners there have been some changes.
"We can't reclaim the old atmosphere," said Darrin Bell, vice president of operations. "They had like three steaks on the menu and lobster. There was an iconic grill in the middle of the room and white-gloved waiters with tuxes on.
"The atmosphere now is business-casual. And the menu is more varied with pasta, seafood, steaks, chicken. Like a normal restaurant. There is an Italian influence to the menu. And our entrees range from $15 to $28."
Things change. But not everything.
"We get a lot of customers who remember it from its glory days," Mr. Bell said. "It's a special place."
One of the changes is the live music and the dance floor, which Mr. Bell said "gives the customers something extra."
Take Two starts at 7 p.m.
Mr. Forcucci and Ms. Bendzsuk have been performing together at festivals, supper clubs and private events throughout the region for 14 years.
Ms. Bendzsuk said they met while part of a larger group and decided they could make a go of it as a twosome. The rest of the band was replaced by technology.
"It's called 'Band in a Box,'" Mr. Forcucci said. "It's software and we program the music. We have played places where we're in the lounge and people will come in from the dining area and look and tell us they thought they were hearing a 10-piece band. It doesn't sound phony. We have a hell of sound."
Well, the recordings don't provide all the music. Mr. Forcucci, a retired mill worker from Whitehall, plays the saxophone.
"I started when I was about 14 years old," he said. "I studied at Volkwein's, Downtown. At first I played the clarinet, but then I bought a saxophone because the clarinet is not that much in demand. Then I played with '50s bands, different jazz groups. Saxophone is an instrument you can play dirty, you can play beautiful. It does it all. That's why I love it. It's got so many colors to it."
"We do a lot of duets and harmonies," said Ms. Bendzsuk of Whitaker. "And Joe has worked out all the arrangements."
It's like really, really, really good karaoke.
"If you were sitting there and closed your eyes while listening to this music, you would think there were seven people there," Ms. Bendzsuk said. "And we have solos programmed in. Even though we do easy-listening music, it all has a jazz flavor."
Club Colony, located at 1928 Cochran Road, is open Wednesday through Saturday nights.
If you have a suggestion for something to do some evening, let us know about it and we'll see if we can get some of our friends to join you. Contact Dan Majors at email@example.com or 412-263-1456.