Hot Spot: The Jumpin Jupiter

Daringly bare dancers add spice to a new dinner-and-show club in Maplewood.

 

The dining room at The Jumpin’ Jupiter glitters in every direction. The mirrors, the candles, the wine glasses, the sequins on the ladies’ corsets. It’s a celebration of femininity. And it happens to serve an excellent cut of American Kobe beef, too. The unusual mix of cabaret-style entertainment, burlesque dancing and high-end food is the brainchild of entrepreneur and recording studio owner Jim Callahan. He’s a sucker for old-school films where customers sit at candle-lit tables while singers croon, aerialists twirl and clowns keep the crowd watching for the unexpected.

Onstage
Callahan’s club does feel a bit like a movie set, starting at the entrance. On our “Super Supper Show” visit, men in white tuxedos stood ready to escort us to our tables. Glamorous people milled around. Some served drinks. Others sipped cocktails while they waited for their turn onstage.

Our server, Lincoln Ward, explained how an evening unfolds: Guests will enjoy a multicourse dinner interwoven with an extravagant variety show. Still, when the spotlight kicked on, no one was quite sure what would happen—which is exactly how Callahan likes it.

Callahan books the shows with help from local burlesque star Lola Van Ella, as well as his son, James IV. Evening shows are less erotic than the late-night ones—but they still pack in plenty of sexy costumes, especially on the in-house dance troupe, the Hoochie Coochie Girls.

My favorite performer of the show, fire-twirler Rosy Glow, had it all: acrobatic skill, dance moves and a bold, confident stage presence. During her two appearances—first with a flaming hula hoop, later with flaming maces—we put down our forks so as not to miss a moment of her routine.

By the final act, having a burlesque dancer named Gogo MacGregor do a striptease to a theme song from the ’60s seemed perfectly normal. After all, we’d just dined on classic dishes like lamb, filet mignon and crème brulée. And acts like singer Christy Strickland and aerialist Indie Lou had prepared us to see some skin…and lots of it.

On the table
Meals at The Jumpin’ Jupiter come in two categories: à la carte dinner (for non-supper shows) or the multi course meal (dishes subject to change), which we enjoyed during the “Super Supper Show.” The chef, Israel “Izzy” Rodriguez, cooked at SLeeK before it closed in January. His background in fine dining might seem overly refined for what The Jumpin’ Jupiter does—Callahan calls his concept polished casual dining—but noshing on truffle oil, asparagus and mushroom “cappuccino” definitely enhances the foodie experience. Once the meal is done, let the bartenders, under the management of Brandy Dunn, concoct something to match the mood, like a classic martini or an elegant aperitif with sparkling wine.

A platter of savory-and-sweet seasoned popcorn opened our multi-course meal, followed soon after by a plate of four cheeses. The third course is the one that truly surprised our taste buds with an all-mushroom presentation that included the cappuccino—a frothy combination of strong, earthy flavors best appreciated in small, slow sips. The fourth course took us back to familiar territory with the lamb and filet, both perfectly tender and simply seasoned. Dessert was a crispcrusted crème brulée, garnished with strawberries, balsamic vinegar and whipped cream.

Pay close attention to pricing, so you’re not surprised at the end. Supper show purchases include both dinner and tickets, but other shows do not. When customers question the setup, Callahan explains that for most shows, “We’re like a theater with really good concessions.” Callahan knew all along he wanted to do a
burlesque-type show—but he didn’t want it to be seedy. The venue he created is welcoming for bachelorette parties, dates or girls’ nights out. Boas optional.

Where to go: The Jumpin’ Jupiter
7376 Manchester Rd.
314.645.JUMP (5867)
Supper show $50, à la carte menu $3-$13
Hours: Dinner Tues.-Thurs., 5-10pm
Supper show schedule at

 

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