Anyone Know The History of the Bintumani Club?

IMG_7672, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

To me, I walk by this joint, and I imagine 14th Street in its hey day back in the day. I don’t know why but imagine very well dressed folks walking out after listening to great jazz back in the 50s or early 60s. I hope it has a proper renaissance.

6 Comment

  • Although not necessarily related to this place, Mount Bintumani is the highest peak in Sierra Leone.

  • I don’t think reality jives with your imagination. I was not here in the 50’s and 60’s but back in the late 90’s it was an African nightclub. It never seemed very crowded or anything. I always thought it was a place where African men gathered to hang out.

  • Are comments working? I just tried posting a lengthy response several times over the past few hours, and it isn’t showing up.

  • OK, I guess comments are working, but there was something about the text that WordPress didn’t like. I’ll try to be more succinct.

    Here’s what some quick Googling says about the history (and a great history it is):

    Located at 2204 14th Street.

    In 1940s, was known as “Club Madre”, the headquarters for notorious female racketeer Odessa Madre.

    “At her peak in the 1940s, Madre was earning about $100,000 a year, and had at least six bawdy houses, bookmaking operations, and a headquarters at 2204 14th Street known as the Club Madre. Among the performers there were Moms Mabley, Count Basie and Nat King Cole.”

    As late as 1999, 2204 14th Street was still operating as a Jazz club known as “Club Madre”

    Opened as the Bintumani club in 2002. Closed in Nov 2004 due to the “building being condemned by the city.”

  • I love google

  • I just love to be right. When I read the name, I thought to myself that the name sounded specifically African, not African American. And now I know it’s the name of a mountain in Sierra Leone. Bet it’ll be on Jeopardy and no one will get it.

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