Bake’s Place: All it’s jazzed up to be

What started in the basement of Craig and Laura Baker’s house has now evolved into a world class jazz venue that attracts nationwide attention.

Laura and Craig Baker sit near the grand piano on the stage at Bake's Place.

Laura and Craig Baker sit near the grand piano on the stage at Bake's Place.

Editor’s note: Last month, the Reporter featured several Issaquah families in business. Today, we give you a glimpse of two Plateau family businesses.

What started in the basement of Craig and Laura Baker’s house has now evolved into a world class jazz venue that attracts nationwide attention.

Bake’s Place, a jazz venue and restaurant has, come a long way from the basement of the couple’s bed and breakfast in Fall City. It was recently named one of the top 100 best jazz venues by Downbeat Magazine.

But even with the recognition, Craig and Laura and their “Baker Bunch” still keep Bake’s Place a personal and intimate venue.

They refer to the lounge as their living room.

“We say that people are coming over to the Baker’s house for dinner,” Baker said. “With warm and friendly service from the owner.”

The whole family is involved too. Between the two, Craig and Laura have six kids — four girls and two boys — ranging in age from 17-38 years old, all of whom have done their share of waiting tables, cleaning dishes and serving.

The Bakers moved the restaurant into its current location five years ago this month, moving into the Town Hall building in Providence Point.

The current location features views, a stage, a bar, plenty of seating and, most importantly, jazz.

Bake’s Place concentrates on jazz vocalists, a style that Baker says anyone can enjoy since the melody is easy to understand. A lot of people are afraid of the improv in jazz, Baker said.

“Non-jazz connoisseurs can experience something they have never experienced,” Baker said.

Jazz and Blues nights are Friday and Saturday nights at Bake’s. Doors open at 6 p.m., and dinner is served at 7 p.m. The shows start at 8 p.m., and tickets are required.

The third Friday of every month, they offer wine tasting and gourmet food pairing night. Those nights also feature Baker’s jazz band, in which he is one of three vocalists.

Throughout the rest of the season, the venue is filled with jazz artists, many of whom are classically trained and are oftentimes professors of music.

“It’s very fun to watch what transpires when people communicate without words,” Baker said.

“Music crosses all boarders,” Baker said. “It puts us all on the same page.”

Bake’s Place is at 4135 Providence Point Dr. S.E. For more information visit their Web site at or call 391-3335.

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