Home History Tricentennial History: Dew Drop Café

Tricentennial History: Dew Drop Café

by The 100 Companies
A hotel during the 20th century.

Before the Maple Leaf, the Dew Drop Café was the place for jazz and blues players to be. Allen Toussaint, Ray Charles and James Brown, among others, all visited the club while it was open from 1939-1970. People even say that Little Richard first performed “Tutti Fruiti” here in NOLA at the Dew Drop.

Frank Pania opened the café and corresponding inn while disregarding segregation laws, so the club was immediately popular throughout the city. It even hosted the New Orleans Gay Ball each Halloween. Pania and his guests were clearly early adopters of the true New Orleans lifestyle.

Currently, there’s a venue in Mandeville, LA with the same name.

Scott Hutcheson, Senior Advisor to the Mayor on the Cultural Economy

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