The B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, which has been a focal point of New York’s 42nd Street since opening in 2000, is to close down at the end of the month. The final show, by Buddy Guy, will take place on 29 April.
The owners of the club, which is now independent from the chain named after the blues giant, which launched in 1991 on Beale Street in Memphis, cite rising rents in the neighbourhood as the reason for its demise. The chain currently has locations in Nashville, Orlando, New Orleans and Montgomery, Alabama. The New York venue has hosted artists such as Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Jay Z during its 18-year run.
In a message on Facebook, the “B.B. King Blues Club & Grill Family” said: “It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share that after 18 wonderful years bringing you live performances by some of the most talented names in music and entertainment, we have announced our final run of shows in the current Times Square location.
“As a result of escalating rent, we are being forced to close our doors at the end of April. While we are in the process of selecting a new location in Manhattan to relocate the venue, we wanted to curate a special closing week celebration to thank you all for your support over the past two decades. None of this would have been possible without you and we are eternally grateful!”
The closing week of shows started last night (23) with Rick Ross, followed by Slick Rick & Doug E Fresh (25 April)), El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico (26), George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (28) and Guy’s final show on the 29th. The owners also announced that Lucille’s Grill, located inside the venue and named after B.B,’s famous guitar, will remain open until 29 April and will feature sets by club favorites B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Jon Paris, A Decade of Soul, and more.
The message closed: “We look forward to celebrating the past and looking toward the future with you all. Your patronage means the world to us and we cannot thank you enough. We will see you soon!”
Explore our B.B. King Artist Page.