Blues Alley Reopens After Fire


Georgetown’s legendary jazz club Blues Alley reopened Nov. 1, one week after a roof fire stopped the music and shut down the building. Damage to the 18th-century structure at the rear of 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW was less than first feared.

At the time, Blues Alley owner Harry Schnipper wrote on social media: “Blues Alley will not be defeated. Blues Alley survived the pandemic, and Blues Alley will survive this set back.”

Mayor Muriel Bowser visited the historic jazz club the day after the fire to assess the damage and lend her support.

Tonight’s show with Bob James is sold out. James will be at Blues Alley Saturday and Sunday night.

A fire broke out on the second floor of the Blues Alley music club around sunset Oct. 25. D.C. Fire & EMS quickly responded to the incident in the alley between Wisconsin Avenue and 31st Street NW in Georgetown. WTOP reported: “D.C. fire officials say the fire at the legendary D.C. jazz club Blues Alley Tuesday night caused $50,000 in damage, and that the cause hasn’t yet been determined. Firefighters found the fire between the ceiling and the roof.… Fire and EMS said about 50 firefighters were on the scene.”

Known as “the house that Dizzy built,” Blues Alley has played host to the greatest names in the history of jazz, including Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Mingus, Tony Bennett, Stan Getz, Eva Cassidy and Chick Corea. The music supper club was founded in 1965 and is renowned for its speakeasy feel, cozy 125-capacity and candlelit intimacy.

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