If you’ve ever wondered where the scores of jazz clubs were during the Harlem Renaissance, this map is the best I’ve seen:
Here is the list with more details:
HARLEM JAZZ CLUBS, RESTAURANTS, and BALLROOMS from the 20’s-40’s:
• Alamo Club (1915-1925) 253 West 125th St (basement) b/t 7th and 8th (aka Alamo Cafe; Jimy Durante)
• Alhambra Ballroom (1929-1945) (aka The Harlem Alhambra) 2116 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (7th Avenue) at 126th Street (built in 1903 for vaudeville. In 1929 it opened an upstairs ballroom featuring jazz performers like Bessie Smith and Billie Holliday that closed in the 1960’s.
• The Apollo Theater 253 West 125th St. b/t 7th and 8th Avenues
• Baby Grand Cafe (1945-1965) 319 West 125th b/t St Nick and 8th (1964 phone book) (Club Baby Grand)
• Bank’s Club (located on 133rd St. )(more info to come)
• Barbeque Club (restraunt above The Nest at 169 West 133rd (established 1923)
• Barron’s Club – Clark Monroe opened clark Monroe’s Uptown House in the 1930s at 198 West 134th St (at 7th Avenue)in the basement. The building formerly held Barron WiIlken’s Exclusive Club (aka Barron’s Club, where Duke Ellington played early in the 1920s. It later beacme the Theatrical Grill, managed by Dickie Wells. Later that became the Pirates Den then the Red Pirate then finally, Clark Monroes Uptown House. At that point the entrance was moved from 2275 7th Ave to 198 west 134th.
• Basement Brownies (1930-1935) 152 West 133rd St. b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
• Brittwood Bar 594 Lenox at 141st, next to the Savoy Ballroom.
• Capitol Palace 575 Lenox at 139th St.
• Clark Monroe’s Uptown House 198 West 134th St.between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard (7th) (building still there). – Clark Monroe’s Uptown House, sometimes shortened to Monroe’s Uptown House or simply Monroe’s, was a nightclub in New York City. Along with Minton’s Playhouse, it was one of the two principal clubs in the early history of bebop jazz.
Clark Monroe opened the Uptown House in the 1930s at 198 West 134th St in Harlem, in a building which formerly held Barron’s Club (where Duke Ellington worked early in the 1920s) and the Theatrical Grill. Monroe moved the club to 52nd Street in 1943 (next to the Downbeat Club., says one book)., and opened a second club, The Spotlite, in December 1944. (Wikipedia)
• Club Harlem 145th and 7th (1952?)(more info to come)
• Connie’s Inn (1923-1934) 2221 7th Ave at 131st St. (131st and 7th was “The Corner”) (1964 Connie= Conrd Immerman – Lithuanian – unlike the Cotton CLub it wasnt whites only)(connie was in the basment, above it was a bar
• Cotton Club 644 Lenox Avenue at north east corner of 142nd
• Count Basie’s Lounge (1955-1964) 2245 7th Avenue NEC 132nd St.(building still there)
• Covan’s (aka Covan’s Morocco Club) 148 West 133rd b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
• Dickie Wells Shim Sham Club (1932-1942) (in the same space as The Nest) (169 West 133rd)
• Edith’s Clam House (aka Harry Hansberry’s Clam House or just The Clam House) – 146 West 133rd St. b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
• Gee Haw Stables 113 West 132nd Street b/t Lexox and 7th Ave. The after hours club was so-named because there was a sculpted horse’s head at the entrance. Much of Art Tatum’s God is in the House LP was recorded here on a tape recorder in 1941.
• Golden Gate Ballroom (1939-1950) 640 Lenox Avenue at West 142nd St.
Harlem Opera House 209 West 125th St. at 7th Avenue
• (Harry Hansberry’s) Clam House 146 West 133rd (1928) b/t Lenox and 7th Ave.
• Havana San Juan 138th and Broadway (1960)(more info to come)
• Herman’s Inn (145) 2493 Seventh Avenue b/t 144th-145th Streets
• Hoofers 2235 7th Ave (basement of Lafayette Theater/Dancers Bojangles Robinson)
• Hot Cha 2280 7th Ave NWC 134th (Hot Cha Bar and Gril) (CLub Hot Cha)(Where Billie Holiday staryed)
• Lafayette Theater 2227 7th Ave. (The Rhythm Club that was under the Lafayette became the Hoofer’s CLub)
• Lenox Lounge (Zebra Room inside) from 1939 – 288 Lenox b/t 124th and 125th
• Lincoln Theater 58 West 135th Street b/t 6th and 7th Avenues (1909-1964)
• Mexico’s 154 West 133 (basement) b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
• Minton’s Playhouse 206 west 118th at St. Nick. south east corner of St Nicholas Avenue (building still there)(1938-1974; reopened 2006); Jazz Club and bar located on the 1st floor of the Cecil Hotel (210 West 118th St.)
• Monroe’s Uptown House see: Clark Monroe’s Uptown House – 198 West 134th Street
• The Nest (aka The Nest Club – men played in Bird outfits, sang “Where do the young bird’s go – to the Nest!”) 169 West 133rd (basement) – (opened in 1923-1932)) later the Rhythm Club (upstairs The Barbeque Club)
• The Palace Ballroom (aka The Rockland Palace Ballroom; originally the State Palace Ballroom) 280 West 155th at 8th Ave.
• The Plantation Club 80-82 West 126th Stret between 5th Ave and Lenox
• Pod’s and Jerry’s 168 West 133rd b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
(1925-1935)(better 1928-1948 or 9) (Officially The Patagonia; later The Log Cabin)(Greet you with “Hi Pod’ner” and Wild West Jerry)
Pod’s and Jerry’s, officially the Catagonia Club, was a cabaret and jazz club. It was one of the thriving speakeasies during the Prohibition era when the street was known as “Swing Street”. It was established in 1925 by Charles “Pod” Hollingsworth and Jeremiah (Jerry) Preston. After the end of Prohibition in 1933 the club was renamed The Log Cabin, which was one of the last clubs to close on 133rd street in 1948, long after its demise.[Wikipedia]
• Radium Club (Happy Rhone’s Radium Club 1920-1925; 654 Lenox b/t 143rd-144th)
• Reuben’s 242 West 30th St. b/t 7th and 8th Avenues (a small piano club; Art Tatum played here. Owned by Reuben Harris who played along with two whiskbrooms over a folded newspaper)
• Renaissance Ballroom (150 West 138th b/t 6th (Lenox) and 7th Aves (1915-1964)
• The Rythm Club (came after The Nest and before the Hoofer Club) (169 West 133rd) (later moved to 168 West 132nd 1932 then was later taken over by the Hoofer’s Club)
• St. Nick’s Jazz Pub 773 Street Nicholas Ave. – (since 1940: renamed The Pink Angel in 1950); renamed in the 60’s)
• Savoy Ballroom (1926-1958) 596 Lenox Avenue b/t West 140th and West 141
• Showman’s Bar (Showman’s Jazz Club) 375 West 125th (It was originally located next to the Apollo Theater at 267 West 125th Street, where it was a hangout for the performers. Showman’s moved 3 times in 42 years.)
• Small’s Paradise (aka Ed Small’s Paradise) (1925-1980’s)(basement) 2294+1/2 Seventh Avenue at the south west corner of 135th Street. (This later became Big Wilt’s Small’s Paradise; Now an International House of Pancakes is in the space.)
• Snookie’s Sugar Bowl (a luncheonette in Harlem during the 1950′-60’s.(more info to come)
• Sugar Cane Club (aka Small’s Sugar Cane Club) (1917-1925) 2212 5th Ave at 135th (entrance through narrow underground passage)
• Sugar Ray’s (2074 7th Ave b/t/ 123-124 (owned by boxer Sugar Ray Robinson)
• Theatrical Grill (198 West 134th St.; Clark Monroe opened the Uptown House in the 1930s at 198 West 134th St in Harlem, in a building which formerly held Barron’s Club (where Duke Ellington worked early in the 1920s) and the Theatrical Grill.
• Tilllie’s 148 West 133rd (chicken waffles and jazz)(1926)(later it was Monette’s Supper CLub where legend has it that John Hammond 1st heard 17 year old Billie Holliday (fm NYT) (Now, since, 2006, it’s Bill’s Place – a small jazz club)
• The Ubangi Club (1934-1937) 2221 7th Ave at 131st St.) The Ubangi Club was opened in 1934 by Glady’s Bently a famous lesbian singer who sang in tux and tails. Her club took over the space that had been occupied by Connie’s Inn from 1923 to1934. Both clubs were in the basement.
• The Yeah Man (1925-1960) 2350 7th Ave at 138th St.
To see the full list of NYC jazz clubs, and to get some great images of Harlem scroll way down the bottom, here: