The Blue Note & Rose Blog

History lesson: The Blue Note’s first location

bluenote912 Business Loop 70 E.

That was the original location of The Blue Note when the venue opened in 1980. Before becoming the start of The Blue Note, the location housed a small club called The Brief Encounter.

Richard King and Phil Costello, who were roommates in the 1980s, bought The Brief Encounter when the owner announced that he just wanted to get rid of the place. Phil, who had been bar tending there, heard about the news and suggested to Richard that they buy it and start a venue.

The location was more or less trashed when they bought it, but the two turned it into an integral part of the music scene in Columbia in no time. They started off with mostly local and regional bands playing but, soon enough, hosted nationally popular bands like The Pixies.

Ten years into Blue Note history, Richard moved The Blue Note to its new location on 9th Street, where it still stands today. The 9th Street location shows how far The Blue Note has come since it’s first few years.

There is nothing quite like walking up to The Blue Note on the night of a concert you’ve been looking forward to for months. You stand in the line that wraps around the building with your friends and fellow fans; everyone is talking about which songs the band might play and recounting favorite memories from past shows. The excitement builds as your ticket is scanned and you walk in to The Blue Note, music playing, and gaze up at the chandelier and to the empty stage where you’re about to see one of your favorite artists.

After all, we all know that the best venue is one with humble beginnings.

This post was written by Chantelle Moghadam, a contributing writer at The Blue Note.