Chicago Landmarks

Sunset Cafe

Sunset Cafe, 1998     Address: 315 E. 35th St.
Year Built: 1909, 1921, 1937
Architect: Alfred Schartz , Sobel & Drielsma
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: September 9, 1998

Earl Hines' Orchestra Following a 1921 remodeling, this simple automobile garage was transformed into one of the city's earliest and most legendary jazz venues. Its house orchestra featured such famed musicians as Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, and Earl "Fatha" Hines, while its floor shows introduced the latest dances to local audiences. Many promising young artists, including Bix Beiderbecke, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Gene Krupa, got their start at late-night sessions here. After a 1937 remodeling, it was renamed the Grand Terrace Cafe and remained a popular night club until 1950. It later housed the office of the Second Ward Regular Democratic Organization and became a hardware store in the 1970s. It is one of nine structures in the Black Metropolis-Bronzeville Historic District.