Redevelopment of historic Dew Drop Inn breaks ground

A redevelopment of the Dew Drop Inn, New Orleans’ leading Black music entertainment venue in the Jim Crow era, has broken ground in Central City.

The groundbreaking at the dilapidated structure, located at 2836 LaSalle St. in Central City, took place in early July. According to Iris Development CEO Curtis Doucette, the redevelopment is expected to be completed by the end of next spring or early summer.

Renovations will include a music venue, a 17-room boutique hotel and a pool. The project received City Council approval in April 2021. Ryan Gootee General Contractors is handing construction, and Studio Kiro is leading architectural work.

The Dew Drop Inn showcased musical artists including Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Little Richard and others who performed at the establishment in its heyday from the mid-1940s to the late 1960s. Little Richard wrote a song about the club, “The Dew Drop Inn.”

The property operated as a hotel over the next few decades. Repeated attempts to revive the structure have faltered over the years since Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters permanently shut down the business.

In May 2022, the building was listed by the National Register of Historic Places as part of “the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation.”

Read the Article