Bohemian Caverns Blows Last Note at End of the Month

by Prince Of Petworth March 17, 2016 at 3:00 pm 15 Comments

11th and U Street, NW

A very interesting and sad story from the City Paper:

“Legendary U Street jazz club Bohemian Caverns will close at the end of March.”

You can see the calendar of their last scheduled events here. And you can read some more of their history here.

So where will you listen to Jazz now? Sad to see how many spots we briefly discussed in 2008 are no longer around.

old mural no longer there, you can see the new mural here

old bc sign
old street level signage no longer there

  • MtP

    As someone said 8 years (!) ago, Columbia Station in Adams Morgan continues to be an underrated and fairly lowkey spot. I also really like Rumba Cafe on the same strip for some latin-inspired music and great mojitos. Two examples of why Adams Morgan is underrated by the non-college/early 20s crowd. Surprising number of interesting spots at all times other than post 11pm Friday and Saturday. And I have actually found that it often is less crowded and chaotic than U street is now.

    • John

      I agree 100%.

      Columbia Station has long been one of my favorites. Adams Morgan in general is very underrated (at least by people who are under 24). Havana Village, Columbia Station, and Bossa are all real gems not to mention some of the newer spots (Songbyrd, the korean place, the 2 ramen places) and some of the old classics (Madams Organ).

      It’s also more pleasant to go out there than U St / 14th St these days.

      • Philippe Lecheval

        Personally, I’m thrilled that most of the kiddies have moved on to 14th, U and H Streets.

      • OP Anon

        “It’s also more pleasant to go out there than U St / 14th St these days.”
        A lot of our friends who live in Shaw, U St, Logan, Dupont etc are more willing to come to Adams Morgan nowadays to hang out and get away from the crowds in their own neighborhoods. Standing around a packed bar loses it’s charm once you’re in your mid 30s :-/

    • OP Anon

      Yup! We live here now just down the block from those venues and they are great. Tons of live music on the blocks 5 to 6 nights/week. And really chill outside of the post 11pm rush on Fridays and Saturdays. It has very much a “locals only” vibe most of the week.

  • 11th Street

    I predict one of the following will happen.

    1) New club owner comes in and spends a zillion dollars upgrading the space (it needs twice that).
    2) Luxury condos.
    3) 7-11, CVS, Boost Mobile and Chipotle divide and conquer the building.

    • stacksp

      I hope they retain the entertainment venue. We already lost Club U and Republic Gardens in that area.

  • jim_ed

    Aw man, I’ll miss Bohemian Caverns. As an adult I’ve enjoyed the actual caverns part, but few things make me more nostalgic than the parties at “Bo Cav”. In what’s now Liv, back in 2003 when I was 17, Lil Jon dominated the PA, you could buy Hypnotiq and Hennessy for $6 and Steve Francis sat behind a velvet rope by himself all night long. RIP.

    • Missing DC

      +1! I will surely miss this spot. I attended so many open mics, birthday dinners, concerts and other wonder events between the three floors.

    • YJ

      Incredible hulks!!!

    • stacksp

      +1 at the $6 incredible hulks.

      Back when you could get a good stiff drink at a good price.

      I saw Erykah Badu there one Howard Homecoming. My wife and I downed a few while waited for her to show up after 1 AM lol

  • dcresider

    I will miss the happys hours but won’t miss the noise and rowdy revelers after hours. Such is life in the city.

  • Joe

    I will never forget seeing Shirley Horn perform at Bohemian Caverns in the fall of 2002…The DC sniper had everyone scared and staying home. The few of us who ventured to the club that night gathered around her piano. At one point she asked for requests…I suggested My Funny Valentine (not knowing that this was the song she played – with Miles Davis playing offstage behind a curtain – at her debut in New York. She gave me a little smile and said “good choice.” One of the best nights I’ve had in this city.

  • Blithe

    I’m very sorry to here this. I truly hope that someone is able to take over the space and to continue the tradition of live music, preferably including jazz, in this historic space. I grew up hearing my older relatives talk about Bohemian Caverns and Crystal Caverns back in the day. I was thrilled when it reopened, and delighted to have the opportunity to experience the music and the magic.

    • textdoc

      +1 — this place has such history.


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