Brooklyn Round Robin

I've always been interested in the New Casablanca Lounge close to my apartment. Unfortunately, I put off going until I was too late when it closed under Ethel's ownership a few years back. When news got around that it was being renovated, I became curious about the location's past history. In going through old newspapers, I discovered that it was a hip place that participated in the Brooklyn Round Robin.

Brace yourselves, Amigos...

In the Fall of 1949, a selection of Brooklyn bars came together and formed an association known as the "Round Robin," which was a social gathering held each Wednesday nite at one of the bars. Their goal was to bring about unity and top-notch social pleasures in New York's biggest Boro. The emcee was Larry Douglas, a columnist for the African-American Newspaper, New York Age. These bars would entertainment with big name personalities like Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaugh, Errol Garner, Savannah Churchill and Ruth Brown. 

The Round Robins were where you could to see and be seen. It was informal with an atmosphere of opportunity where regular people mixed with the famous movers and shakers. Whiskey, whiskey and more whiskey flowed until that evenings joint finally closed down. It was such a quick success that WLIB began airing the Round Robins on their radio program within a month of the first event. It also spawned similar events in Harlem and The Bronx. 

Get a taste of the music at



Alison IvenComment