London House (Chicago)

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The London House was a jazz club and restaurant in Chicago located at the corner of Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue, in the London Guaranty and Accident Company Building, 360 N. Michigan Ave.[1] It was one of the foremost jazz clubs in the country, once home to such luminaries as Oscar Peterson, Ramsey Lewis, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Marian McPartland, Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderley, Erroll Garner, Ahmad Jamal, Nancy Wilson, Barbara Carroll, Bobby Short and many others. On the occasion of its 20th anniversary in November 1966, Frank Sinatra, Jr. headlined the club in his Chicago debut.[2]

Renovated in 1946 by George and Oscar Marienthal, the club was crafted from the original Fort Dearborn Grill. Known as a "famed dining spot" the club was revamped in 1955 to include jazz music and stay open until 4 A.M. rather than be a strictly dining establishment that closed at 10 P.M.[2] After jazz had finally waned as popular music, losing out to rock and roll, The London House closed during the early 1970s.

The LondonHouse Hotel opened in the building in 2016.

Recorded at London House[edit]

The following were recorded at the London House.[3]

1955 – Johnny Pate at the London House

1956 – Billy Taylor at the London House

1958 – Marian McPartland, At the London House

1958 – Gene Krupa Quartet "Live" From the London House

1958 – Sarah Vaughan, After Hours at the London House

1959 – Bobby Hackett, Live from London House

1960s- Teddy Wilson and Earl Hines, Live at London House

1961 – Tyree Glenn at the London House

1961 – Oscar Peterson, The Sound of the Trio

1961 - The Many Faces of Dorothy Donegan

1961 - Henry Red Allen Quartet Live at the London House Chicago

1962 – Charlie Shavers Live at the London House

1963 – Coleman Hawkins at the London House

1966 – The Three Sounds - Today's Sounds

1969 – The Soulful Strings - Back By Demand, In Concert

Other albums recorded there include Gin and Orange by Brother Jack McDuff and Barbara Carroll "Live" Her Piano and Trio by Barbara Carroll.[citation needed]

George Shearing and his group often played at this venue in the 1960s, as did Ramsey Lewis, whose trio started out as the house band. On the venue's closing night, a group of jazz luminaries gathered to say goodbye, and Shearing wrote and performed "A Foggy Day in London House."[citation needed]


  1. ^ Demlinger, Sandor; Steiner, John (11 August 2003). Destination Chicago jazz. Arcadia Publishing. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-7385-2305-7. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (November 5, 1966). "Show to Mark Marienthal's London House's 20th Year". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 26. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  3. ^ Happy Medium Ventures Archive, Chicago,