Bohemian Caverns, D.C.'s Premiere Jazz Club, Closes its Doors March 31

By Ian Holubiak on Mar 17, 2016 01:45 PM EDT
Bohemian Caverns, D.C.'s Premiere Jazz Club, Closes its Doors March 31 Members of a jazz band playing during a party held in Chislehurst Caves in Kent. (Photo : Pace/Getty Images)

Yet another jazz club is forced to close its doors. Bohemian Caverns, the subterranean D.C. jazz club that put up the likes of Duke Ellington to Miles Davis, will turn over the keys on March 31 when its lease expires.

Sadly, the determining factor to close is maintaining a steady profit margin. Slow attendance sales and a lack of continuing support has sent the old haunt into a downward spiral. Per an article in the Washington City Paper, the club's co-owner and partner Omrao Brown said:

"Man, we're over here struggling. Business has been really struggling for a while now. I hope it doesn't come to it, but it's a possibility: We might not have a path out of what we're in right now."

While it may be easy to posit that the club's tragedy therein lay with a lack of attendance, it's actually worth noting too that Brown's relationship with the landlord was in dire straits. Mahogany LLC, the official title of the operation, has worked without correspondence with landlord Al Afshar for some time.

Afshar's relationship with the tenants was at once hostile but has since devolved into nothing, with Afshar concluding that he has no interest in extending their lease as well as negotiating any kind of compromise.

The club, too, has yielded a legacy, deeming the grounds of its business, as it stands, a legacy address. Therefore, switching locations is hardly a possibility no matter which angle you look at it from.

With a deteriorating foundation and diplomacy being pulled from the table, it's with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to a venue that has become one of the most recognizable brands in American jazz for the last decade.

Nonetheless, relive an older performance at the Caverns below and be sure to stop by if you're in the area for what might be one your last chances to do so.

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TagsBohemian Caverns, Omrao Brown

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