GEORGETOWN (CelebrityAccess) – Blues Alley is a historic DC club nestled in the heart of Georgetown, which opened in 1965. Jazz greats such as Charlie Byrd and Dizzy Gillespie have graced its stage. On Tuesday (October 25) night, a fire broke out minutes before another jazz musician was to take the stage. Owner Harry Schnipper, who has owned the club for 25 years, told ABC7 that they began to smell smoke and see dust right before dinner.
“We decided to err on the side of caution, and we evacuated the building, and everyone assembled at the intersection,” said Schnipper.
“Fire in the attic space of this old building posed real challenges for firefighters. The fire burning below quickly compromised the roof, causing one firefighter to fall through partially. He quickly extricated himself.” – DC Fire via Twitter.
Blues Alley was closed for a year during the COVID-19 pandemic and made it through. Schnipper says they will get through this as well. The Blues Alley marquee sign reads, “Like a phoenix, we will rise.” Schnipper said, “I look at people, and I say we survived the pandemic. I think we can survive fire damage.”
DC native Cecily was set to perform to a nearly sold-out crowd one day after the fire. She says she is looking forward to a new date, with rescheduling.
“My hope is they come back strong. I am positive they will, so I am looking forward to that. A lot of venues that made it through the pandemic have already shown they are resilient and resourceful,” said Cecily.
The club’s communication director, Frank Vardaros, told Fox5 that Blues Alley will be temporarily closed as officials assess the damage but said it will “re-open very soon.” Any shows canceled as a result of the fire will be rescheduled as soon as possible.