In 1950, George Wein opened Storyville, a jazz club in the Copley Square Hotel, named for the iconic Dixieland joint in New Orleans. The recent Boston University graduate was ambitious and learned on the job; after a few bumpy years, Storyville truly became a Boston success. Attracting big acts such a soulful Billie Holiday and Nat Cole, Wein also provided space for local musicians to play in the club’s large house band. The scene was tasteful and glamorous; unescorted women were not allowed at the bar. In the late ‘50s, things began to change: big jazz acts wanted bigger crowds, and Storyville was often passed over for Blinstrubs in South Boston, which could seat over 1000. George Wein moved on by 1960, and Storyville eventually faded away.
Today, another club by the name of Storyville has made it’s home in the Copley Square Hotel. Opened in 2011, the modern version of the club features food, drink, dancing, and a comfortable place to lounge. It takes its inspiration from the history of the original Boston Storyville, as well as taking cues from the New Orleans nightclub of the same name.