Chuck Berry's St. Louis Homes and Properties Before He Was Rich and Famous [Photos]
|A vacant lot next to Powell Hall is all that's left of Berry's short-lived nightclub, Club Bandstand.|
814 North Grand Avenue
In 1959 Chuck Berry opened up Club Bandstand, a bar and music venue adjacent to Powell Hall that he hoped would be like the mixed-race nightclubs he'd seen in the Northeast. It never took off. That same year, Berry was arrested for transporting a minor across state lines when he brought a fourteen-year-old woman he had met in El Paso, Texas, up to St. Louis to work for him at Club Bandstand. Berry would eventually be convicted of violating the Mann Act (also known as the "white-slave traffic act" for the racist ways in which it was enforced) and sentenced to three years in prison. Club Bandstand closed quietly within a year of opening its doors. Writes Berry:
The city came down with all sorts of ordinances about fire protection orders, and complaints were said to be coming from businesses a half block away about the noise and prowling late at night. When the liquor license was threatened because of an owner being involved in criminal activities, I decided to pull the stakes and quit.Next: Chuck and Themetta move into a large home on a private street in north St. Louis.