‘The South’s Swankiest Night Club’ will return to New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A historic nightclub famed for propelling local music icons to stardom will once again open its doors to the public.
Cyril Neville and the Mardi Gras Indians joined Mayor LaToya Cantrell and State Rep. Tanner Magee for a special groundbreaking ceremony for the iconic Dew Drop Inn in Central City on Thursday.
“It was a famous place for people like Ray Charles who lived there, Little Richard spent time here. Our big local names – Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Deacon John and so many more have performed here,” said Dew Drop Inn Developer Curtis Doucette.
The historic Dew Drop Inn had its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s.
“This place is iconic and it’s a shame to see it in this condition. It’s brought so much notoriety and so many great things to the city and so many great things to music in general,” he said.
Doucette went on to say, “It was also a hotel, a restaurant, and it was listed in the Green Book as a safe haven for black people during segregation.”
It will be a $10 million renovation and restoration. The newly restored Dew Drop Inn will be a 17-room boutique hotel with a pool that will allow daily passes and memberships, but it will be a concert venue first and foremost.
“That’s what made him famous, and it will be again,” Doucette said.
The Dew Drop Inn is scheduled to open in late summer or early fall 2023.
“It’s great to have this opportunity to bring him back to celebrate what he was and hopefully create a future worthy of what his past was,” Doucette said.
In addition to the restoration of the Dew Drop Inn, the State of Louisiana decided to build a Louisiana Music Museum near the Dew Drop Inn in this neighborhood. The Museum will celebrate the birth of Rock-n-Roll in New Orleans.