In 1926 a little jazz club was opened in the basement of a drugstore located at 11th and U St. called Club Caverns. Club Caverns soon became famous for their floor and variety shows. Washington's elite would come in droves dressed in their most formal attire, to be entertained by the likes of Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway.
In the 1950's Club Caverns soon became known as Crystal Caverns. The club would operate successfully, but it would reach its zenith peak when the club became known as Bohemian Caverns in the late 1950's to early 1960's. Best known for its great Jazz and elegant atmosphere.
In 1962 Ramsey Lewis recorded "The Ramsey Lewis Trio at the Bohemian Caverns." This recording earned accolades and great commercial success. Mr. Lewis would shine another bright light on the corner of 11th and U St. when he won a Grammy for his recording "The In Crowd" recorded on the LP, "The In Crowd, Live at the Bohemian Caverns."
The Caverns has brought a great many artists to its stage, but it was the immortals that built this house and our legacy: Washington's Son Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Billy Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Louis Armstrong, Ramsey Lewis, Less McCann, Miles Davis, Shirley Horn, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Wynton Marsalis, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus and even Bill Cosby.