The Troy Street Observer

May 6, 1948: The Abrupt End of the Zanzibar Club

It was curtains for the Zanzibar Club after only three weeks in business on May 6, 1948.

There was a big crowd for the splashy April 16 opening of the Zanzibar Club, at 254 Huntington Ave, across the street from Symphony Hall. For whatever reasons, clubs didn’t make it at this location and the names changed regularly. With the Zanzibar, though, we have a pretty good idea why it failed after three weeks.

Photo of Coleman Hawkins
Coleman Hawkins didn’t know he was playing the Zanzibar’s last stand

The first floor housed the Show Boat, so named when it opened during the revival of the Jerome Kern musical. The Zanzibar was upstairs, in what had been the Arcadia Ballroom.

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