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In the late 1990s, the Bayou was owned by Dave Williams (Cellar Door Productions), who was also responsible for putting on the concerts at DAR Constitution Hall and the Capital Centre. Williams also was the GM at the Nissan Pavilion.
The Bayou occupied an old building at 3135 K Street, NW, in Georgetown, under the Whitehurst Freeway for forty-six years. The club opened in September 1953 on the site of a former Dixieland nightclub called The Pirates Den. The club featured Dixieland jazz until the early 1960s when the format changed to rock and roll. Performers included Count Basie and Woody Herman.
The club included a balcony level, with tables and chairs, and two standing room only bars. The main floor bars were fed bottled liquor from a "tap" room that was situated above the entrance. Bottles placed upside down into funnels feeding long tubing led to the downstairs bars. The Bayou backed up to another famed Washington DC music institution, The Blues Alley, located down the alley behind the Bayou.
Though the Bayou generally attracted an older crowd, the club also featured a diverse following including college students from Georgetown University, men and women from the many military installations in the DC area and The Pentagon.
The Bayou was a stop on the national tours of middle-range musical groups and solo artists. The club, which was a regular stop on East Coast tours by UK bands from the late 1970s on, featured artists including U2 (their second show in the United States), Red Hot Chili Peppers (performing twice in 1988 which would be their final DC shows with founding members Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons), The Only Ones, Squeeze, Peter Tosh, Police, the Dave Matthews Band, The New Orleans Radiators, Hootie & the Blowfish, Kiss, Dire Straits, the Tom-Tom Club, Acoustic Junction, From Good Homes, Foreigner, and other artists that influenced the evolution of rock as well as rhythm and blues from the 1960s through the 1990s.
- Opened 1939.
- Changed to the Bayou in 1953 with Owners Mike Munley, Vince and Tony Tramonte
- Converted to Rock ‘n’ Roll September 1965, The Telstars played the Bayou as a house band for 3 years.
- 1980 The Tramontes sell the Bayou to Cellar Door Productions
- In September 1996, Eva Cassidy performed for the last time with "What a Wonderful World" at The Bayou.
- Closed 1999
- Razed 1999
The Bayou was the subject of a documentary produced by Metro Teleproductions, Inc. Maryland Public Television aired the program on February 25, 2013.
- Butters, Patrick (30 December 1998). "Bye-bye Bayou: Georgetown nightclub closes door tomorrow night after the last jam". The Washington Times.
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