Baker’s is noted for its long history of presenting local and major jazz acts, its excellent acoustics, its intimacy- seating only 99, its Art Deco furnishings, including a distinctive, piano-shaped bar painted with a keyboard motif, Art Deco style paintings of European city landscapes, tilted mirrors that allow patrons to view the pianist’s hands, and its Steinway piano which was selected and purchased in New York in the 1950s. The club still displays its original liquor pricelist from 1934, showing the price of beer at 26 cents.
In 1933, Chris and Fannie Baker opened Baker’s as a lunchtime sandwich restaurant. In 1934, their son Clarence Baker began booking jazz pianists, but Baker’s was still known at that time principally as a restaurant. In 1939 Clarence took over ownership after Chris had suffered from a stroke. That same year, Clarence began booking pianists from outside the Detroit area, although the club featured local pianist Pat Flowers from 1940 until 1954. In 1952, the club was expanded and remodeled to the Art Deco look that it retains today. By 1954, the business had rapidly expanded, and by the following year, Baker’s began featuring major jazz acts, notably Art Tatum in 1956, Dave Brubeck in 1957 and Gerry Mulligan in 1958.
Baker’s provides an alternative to the Detroit party scene, offering live music with the same character as it had 80 years ago. Stop by for food, drinks, dancing and celebrating.