Do you know the story about when Jim Croce and I first moved to San Diego in 1973? We were so surprised when we went to the Gaslamp and saw our new downtown in such disrepair. There were no restaurants or music venues anywhere and we were hungry for both.
So Jim joked that we should open a restaurant and bar and have our friends like James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, Arlo Guthrie, Bonnie Raitt, The Manhattan Transfer and more, come to play at our bar.
But a week later, Jim’s plane crashed and that dream was gone.
Then after 10 years of litigation, I wanted to recreate the warmth and energy of my time with Jim Croce, and those early days of entertaining together. So I built Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar, right on the corner of Fifth and F, just where Jim and I had talked about it.
It took a long time for the Gaslamp Quarter to come of age. It was an uphill battle for so many years, but I wanted to do it for Jim Croce and his fans. So I poured my heart, soul, effort and lots and lots of money into my endeavor. Until finally, the Gaslamp came alive and we had foot traffic.
When we lost our lease in the Gaslamp Quarter after thirty years, my husband Jimmy Rock and I tried to recreate our dream in Banker’s Hill.
But you know Bob Dylan got it right when he sang “You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.”
And unfortunately, we have found that live music isn’t the draw that we hoped and needed it to be. The piracy and devaluation of music has been such a major blow to us that we can no longer afford to support live music on our own. And it wouldn’t be Croce’s without live music.
In the end, Croce’s Park West was fabulous…the food, the ambience, the hospitality, the live music and our wonderful guests, who have become like friends and family. It was everything we wanted it to be! We feel it was a success.
We hope that the many wonderful memories and friendships that have been cultivated over all the years will endure. And we sincerely thank you all so very much for supporting us and for helping us to honor Jim Croce and the legacy of his music.
Ingrid Croce and Jimmy Rock
Please follow me on my blog at Ingrid Croce and Jim Croce, and on Facebook and twitter.
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The weekend before Jim Croce left on his final tour, my husband and I made a dinner date. We had just moved to California and we were anxious to be together and explore our new hometown. Unfortunately back then in 1973, the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego reminded us of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” [...]
In 1966, when Jim Croce and I performed regularly at folk clubs, colleges and local bars, Jim had a great ear for dialects and languages. He often told stories to introduce his songs using either an English cockney, Southern drawl, Scottish brogue or Eastern Indian dialect. He would practice new songs daily, never repeating a [...]
It was a snowy night two days before Christmas in 1963 and I was auditioning with “The Rum Runners,” to be a contestant in an upcoming hootenany at WDDS radio station in Philadelphia. Close to the station’s parking lot, our old clunker had gotten stuck in the snow and for fear of being late, I had [...]click here to read more blog posts >