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PopSpots' Guide to Legendary Manhattan Jazz Club Locations from the Golden Era of NYC Jazz Clubs, 1930-1950

• 52nd Street and Times Square
• Harlem
• Greenwich VIllage

(exact addresses follow the maps; followed by over 80 photos of the clubs)


1940's Jazz Clubs of 52nd Street and Times Square. (click to enlarge)



Harlem Jazz Clubs of the 1920's to 1940's. (click to enlarge)



Greenwich VIllage Jazz Clubs from the 1930's to today. (click to enlarge)



See sections below:

52nd Street and Times Square (52nd Street was known as "Swing Street" or just "The Street" from the 1940's to 1960's) (After prohibition ended in 1933 the center of jazz activity slowly moved downtown to the TImes Square area.)
Harlem (133rd Street between Lexox and 7th Ave, a street of sevral small jazz clubs, was called "The Street" in the 1930's)
Greenwich Village
Upper West Side / Upper East Side


Swing Street (52nd Street) looking east from 6th Avenue in circa 1948 by William Gottlieb.



Present day 52nd Street from the same location (looking east from 6th Avenue).



Combined: Swing Street in its heyday superimposed over today's street. All the brownstones that the clubs were in have been replaced by skyscrapers except for the two buildings that make up the 21 Club at 21 West 52nd Street.



52ND STREET AND TIMES SQUARE (addresses as of approximately 1944-1947*)
:

"Swing Street" - 52nd Street between 5th Avenue and Broadway


52nd St. - North Side - 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue (Jazz Clubs in BOLD):

• Tony's Restaurant - 59 West 52nd Street .
• Orchard Room Restaurant - 57 West 52nd Street
The Onyx - 55 West 52nd Street.
Jimmy Ryan's - 53 West 52nd Street
• Ha-Ha Club - 51 West 52nd Street.
• Eugene's Luncheonette - 51 West 52nd Street.
• Swiss Chalet Restaurant - 45 West 52nd Street
• Follies Restaurant - 39 West 52nd Street
• Alton Liquors - 35 West 52nd Street
• Leon & Eddie's - 33 West 52nd (burlesque club w/ some jazz)
• House of Ballantine Liquors - 23 West 52nd
• 21 Club - 21 West 52nd Street (originally "Jack and Charlies 21 Club")
Tondelayo's - ?? Swing Street, north side.

52nd St. - South Side - 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue

3 Deuces -72 West 52nd Street
• Chez Lina restaurant -70 West 52nd Street
Club Downbeat - 66 West 52nd. Street
Club Carousel - 66 West 52nd. Street
Yacht Club (prior to Downbeat) - 66 West 52nd. Street
• Chez Remy Restaurant - 64 West 52nd Street
Club Samoa - 62 West 52nd Street (burlesque club)
• Johnny's Tavern - 60 West 52nd Street
• Michael Riley's Restaurant - 58 West 52nd Street
Famous Door - 56 West 52nd Street
Spotlight - 56 West 52nd Street
• Club Nocturne - 56 West 52nd Street
• Drama Bookshop - 48 West 52nd Street

52nd Street - 6th Avenue to 7th Avenue

Kelly's Stables - 137 West 52nd Street - b/t 6th and 7th Avenues.
Hickory House - 144 West 52nd Street - b/t 6th and 7th Avenues.

Swing Street (52nd Street) Map (My temporary working map. It includes other restaurants and stores that were along the block.)

Most of the clubs on 52nd Street were located in the bottom floors of 4- to 5-story tenement buildings and were usually about 20 feet wide and 60 feet deep, so as rents went up, it was easy for them to relocate quickly just by moving the chairs, tables, and small stage.




Times Square North - Broadway and 7th Ave between 46th and 54th Streets - from South to North

Arcadia Ballroom - 1680-1688 Broadway at the Southeast corner of 53rd Street.
Band Box - 1680? Broadway b/t West 52nd and West 53rd Streets, east side of street.
Birdland - 1678 Broadway b/t West 52nd and West 53rd Streets, east side of street. (Awning reads: Jazz Corner of the World)
Iridium Jazz Club - 1650 Broadway, b/t 50th street and 51st Street, east side. (1994: began at 63rd and 8th; since 2001 - present address)
Zanzibar - 1619 Broadway (1944-1949) - Northwest corner of Broadway and 49th Street.
Bop City - 1619 Broadway (1949- 1965) - Northwest corner of Broadway and 49th Street.
Latin Quarter - 1580 Broadway b/t 47th and 48th Streets, east side.
Royal Roost - 1574 Broadway, north west corner of 47th street, east side. (a.k.a. "The Metropolitan Bopera House")
Metropole Cafe - 725 7th Avenue, b/t 46th-47th Streets, East Side

Further South from Times Square

Buddy's Place - 133 West 33rd St.b/t 6th and 7th Avenues, north side of street.

East of Fifth Avenue

The Embers - 161 East 54th Street between Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue, north side.
Basin Street East - 137 East 48th Street, northeast corner of Lexington Avenue.










HARLEM JAZZ CLUBS, RESTAURANTS, and BALLROOMS from the 20's-40's:


• 133rd St: New York's original Swing Street, often called just "the Street."

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.


Harlem Jazz and Night-Club map from 1932. (CLICK TWICE TO FULLY ENLARGE)


The illustration of the clubs was drawn looking from the north to the south. Below is a list of all the spots mentioned. They are all also on the PopSpots Jazz Map. There's one refernece to Glady's Clam House. That is most likely referrring to a small restaurant at 146 West 133rd Street alternatively called Edith's Clam House or Harry Hansberry's Clam House where 1930's Harlem nightlife legend Gladys Bently performed in a "tuxedo and high hat" (as it says on the map) before later opening her own club called The Ubangi. The 1932 map was the work of E. Simms Campbell, the first African American illustrator to be syndicated in national magazines. The original map is now in the Beinecke Library rare book collection of Yale University.

Places mentioned in the illustration: roughly left to right:
• Savoy Ballroom
• Cotton Club
• Radium Club
• Connie's Inn
• Lafayette Theater
• Tillie's
• Theatrical Grill
• Glady's Clam House
• Club Hot-Cha
• Smalls' Paradise
• Yeah Man
• The Log Cabin






GREENWICH VILLAGE (1930's-Today):


Arthur's Tavern - 57 Grove b/t 7th Ave South and Bedford Street
Blue Note Jazz Club - 131 West 3rd street between 6th Avenue and MacDougal Street, northside.
Bradleys - 70 University Place b/t. East 10th Street and East 11th Street, west side of street.
Cafe au Go Go - 152 Bleecker Street b/t Thompson and LaGuardia Streets, south side of street
Cafe Bohenia - 15 Barrow Street b/t West 4th Street and Bleecker St., east side
Cafe Society - 1 Sheridan Square; corner of Barrow Street and Waverly Place (basement)
Cinderella Jazz Club - 82 West 3rd St. b/t Sullivan St. and Thompson St. (1930's-1950's)
The Cookery - 21 University Place and 8th Street - (1969-1984)
Eddie Condon's - 47 West 3rd b/t Mercer St. and Greene St. , northside (1945; later moved uptown)
Fat Tuesdays - 190 Third Ave at 17th St., downstairs. (just north of the East VIllage)
Five Spot - 5 Cooper Square (i.e. Third Ave. between East 4th and East 5th Street, east side at the north end of the Bowery. The club was here from 1956 to 1962 when the building it was in was demolished for an apartment building. In 1962 it moved about 4 blocks north to 2 St. Marks Place at Third Avenue untill 1967. Later it was the "Two Saints" but closed in Jan. 1976.
Half Note - 289 Hudson Street, southwest corner of Spring Street (later to move to West 3rd Street)
The Music Box - 121 West 3rd St. b/t MacDougal St. and 6th Avenue (1950-1972)
Open Door - 55 West Third Street at northeast corner of West Broadway (now called LaGuardia Place)
Seventh Avenue South - 21 Seventh Ave South near Leroy (run by the Brecker Brothers from 1977-1986.)
Slugs - 242 East 3rd St. b/t Ave B and Ave C (mid 1960's-1972)
Small's Jazz Club - 183 W 10th St. b/t 7th Ave South and West 4th St.
Sweet Basil Jazz Club - 88 Seventh Avenue South b/t Bleecker St. and Grove St. (1974-2000)
The Village Gate - 158 Bleecker Street, b/t Sullivan and Thompson, south side (now "Le Poisson Rouge")
Village Vanguard - 178 Seventh Avenue South, b/t Perry and West 11th Street, west side, downstairs.

UPPER WEST SIDE :


Smoke 2751 Broadway between 105th and 106th, West side. Previously a jazz club called called Augies







PHOTOGRAPHS OF NEW YORK CITY JAZZ CLUBS


TIMES SQUARE and 52ND STREET

Swing Street (52nd Street) looking east from 6th Avenue in circa 1948 by William Gottlieb.




Closer.




3 Deuces - color by Feininger, 1946




3 Deuces - black and white by Gottlieb, 1948



Outside the Famous Door.



North side of the street. (click to enlarge)



3 Deuces - 52nd Street



3 Deuces - greeter Gilbert J. Pincus hams it up (photo WIlliam Gottlieb)



Club Downbeat, 52nd Street



Club Downbeat, 52nd Street



Postcard showing the inside of the Onyx (pronounced "on-ix")



Not all the entertainment was made with instruments.



Winnie Garett at the Ha-Ha Club near Jimmy Ryan's on the north side of the street.




52nd Street - Wide Shot.




James Dean on 52nd Street, 1954 or 1955, by Dennis Stock. (click to enlarge)




The Street in a New Yorker cover from May 1, 1948.




A night shot focused on Jimmy Ryans




The street in daylight. Looking at Leon and Eddies which was mid-block between 5th and 6th Aves.




NIce color shot of Leon and Eddies, more a nightclub than a jazz spot.




Leon and Eddies by Andreas Feininger for Life, 1946.




Leon and Eddies - another angle.




Milton Berle fans outside Leon and Eddies.




Inside Leon and Eddies.




Great advertising gimmick! Looking down at Leon and Eddie's from Rockefeller Center in 1943. You can see the buildings for all the jazz clubs on the north side of the street. The 21 Club is two buildings to the right of Leon and Eddies. That's the only original building (actually 2 buildings combined) of all these brownstones still remaining on the block. You can also see the roof sign for the Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street at top right. From the George Miller collection.




Leon and Eddie's business card.




Looking west, toward 6th Ave from Leon and Eddies. By Weegee.




Looking west, toward 6th Ave at night.




Looking east from near 6th Ave., north side of the street. By William Gotfried, 1948.




The same people, now under the Harry the Hipster sign at the entrance to the Onyx. By William Gotfried, 1948.




52nd Street as seen from 6th Ave, looking east in daylight.




A closer shot from the same spot in 1948.



Dizzie Gillespie at the corner of 52nd and 6th Avenue in 1952



The 21 Club building at 21 West 52nd Street is the only remaining townhouse remaining up of all the clubs along 52nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. The others have been all replaced by tall buildings. This is a picture of the 21 Club from 1946.



Here's what the 21 Club looks like today. When it first moved to 52nd Street, its fourth location, it was originally called "Jack and Charlie's 21."

Wikipedia explains the presence of the jockeys: "Perhaps the most famous feature of 21 is the line of painted cast iron lawn jockey statues which adorns the balcony above the entrance. In the 1930s, some of the affluent customers of the bar began to show their appreciation by presenting 21 with jockeys painted to represent the racing colors of the stables they owned. There are 33 jockeys on the exterior of the building, and 2 more inside the doors."




JAZZ CLUBS ON 52ND STREET BETWEEN 6TH AVENUE and 7TH AVENUE ( a block wet of "Swing Street")

Jimmy Ryans, 52nd Street - Between 6th Ave and 7th Ave



Hickory House, 52nd Street - Between 6th Ave and 7th Ave




THE BROADWAY AND TIMES SQUARE JAZZ CLUBS

Birdland, Seventh Ave bet. 52nd and 53rd Streets, east side



Birdland, Seventh Ave bet. 52nd and 53rd Streets, east side



Birdland, Seventh Ave bet. 52nd and 53rd Streets, east side



The awning for BIRDLAND is at bottom right. THE ARCADIA BALLOOM marquee is center left. The ALVIN HOTEL sign is at left. Tenor sax legend Lester Young moved into the Alvin in 1958 and died while living there a year later.



Arcadia Ballroom - Broadway at the Southeast corner of 53rd Street. (later - 60's - "Cheetah")



Band Box, Seventh Ave bet. 52nd and 53rd Streets, east side



Bop City (1948-1951) - 1619 Broadway (The Brill Building) at the Northwest corner of 49th Street.



Cafe Zanzibar (1944-1949) - 1619 Broadway (The Brill Building) at the Northwest corner of 49th Street.



Metropole Cafe , Seventh Avenue Times Square



The Cotton Club - Times Square 7th Ave and 48th Street (looking south)



The Cotton Club - 48th Street - Times Square (1936-1940) (click to enlarge)



Ad for the Cotton Club - Times Square (1936-1940)



GREENWICH VILLAGE

The original 5 Spot on Third Avenue and 5th Street.



The original 5 Spot on Third Avenue and 5th Street.



The 5 Spot in its 2nd location: St. Mark's Place at Third Avenue. In front: Thelonious Monk and Baroness Nica de Koeningswater in 1964. (Photo: Ben Martin/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images.)



The 5 Spot - another view. This is the ground floor of the St. Mark's Hotel which used to be the Valencia Hotel.



An ad for the 5 Spot on St. Marks's Place.



Eddie Condon's on West Third Street in the Village



The Open Door, 55 West Third Street at northeast corner of West Broadway (now called LaGuardia Place) We are looking south on West Broadway in this photo.



Miles Davis in front of the Cafe Bohemia on Barrow Street.



The Cafe Bohemia on Barrow Street.



The Village Vanguard - out front, John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Jimmy Garrison and Rashied Ali in 1966.



UPPER WEST SIDE / UPPER EAST SIDE

Augie's - Broadway between 105th-106th Streets, west side (now "Smoke" jazz club)



HARLEM JAZZ CLUBS

Lenox Lounge, Lenox Avenue b/t 124th and 125th St., Harlem




Lenox Lounge from Google Street Views, 2012, Lenox Avenue, Harlem



Interior of the Lenox Lounge from the NYPL. (click to enlarge)



Minton's, Harlem



Minton's, Harlem



Location of: The Nest (the basement of the white building) at 169 West 133rd. The Nest, established in 1923, was the first of the 133rd Street Jazz clubs.



Interior of The Nest with the founders. A larger picture follows.



Interior of The Nest. (click to enlarge).



The doorway to the 133rd St club called The Log Cabin at #168 remains. (The exterior log-cabin-looking brown wood has replaced by aluminum siding).



The doorway to the Log Cabin as seen in the 1932 illustrated Night-Club Map of Harlem by E. Simms Campbell.



A modern day shot of "The Street" - West 133rd St. between 6th and 7th Avenues.



Connie's Inn (March 5, 1932) (click to enlarge)



The Apollo. 1950.



The Apollo in 1944 - on amateur night. (click to enlarge)



Small's Paradise. Located at 2294+ 1/2 Seventh Avenue, in the basement of 2294 Seventh Avenue. Smalls Paradise was in existance from 1925-1955 when it was sold, and later resold, to a group including Wilt Chambelain, who opened Wilt's Smalls Paradise above it. That bar/restaurant operated from 1955 to 1986. (see photo below).


Small's Paradise - sign.


Small's Paradise exterior - 1940


The interior of Small's Paradise, circa 1942. (click to enlarge)


This is a photo of Big Wilt's Small's Paradise which began in 1955 and was partly owned by Wilt Chamberlain. The right hand part of the restaurant is now an International House of Pancakes. The building it is in is the Thurgood MArshall Academy at 200-214 W 135th St. at 7th Avenue.


Here's another shot of Big Wilt's Small's Paradise. (click to enlarge)


The Savoy Balroom at Lexox and 140th Street.


The Savoy Ballroom - under the marquee on Lenox Ave.