Shuttered in the ‘70s after an unfortunate foray into disco, Minton’s Playhouse, a venue that was instrumental for the careers of legendary musicians like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, reopened last year at the same location where it had originally been more than 60 years ago; the sign outside and the original mural (painted in 1948) are also restored to their original glory and the club is gradually regaining its status as a Harlem landmark, attracting regulars and also assorted tourists.
When owner Earl Spain (of St. Nick’s Pub)
purchased the space, the area had mostly been
“demolished”, as manager Celeste Sapp, a cheerful woman who runs the club’s day-to-day operations since its reopening last spring, explains. “Right before we got here, the place had been used as a community center for the local neighborhood church.” The décor is quite simple, with black-and-white tiled floors and a long bar that takes about half of the room’s space.