Towne Casino


Back when detonating an explosive device in a populated area wasn’t considered terrorism, it was used as a coercive tool by area gangsters and other discontents.

The Towne Casino located on 10613 Euclid Avenue was a local jazz bar owned by Sanford Gill and for a time managed by Little Ted Miclau. During it’s short run from 1951 to 1953 it featured many jazz giants such as J.J. Johnson, Sarah Vaughn and Colman Hawkins. The Casino also featured a healthy line-up of female impersonators, a unique profession previously reported on by WDGC Impact Team reporters Rick Donovan and Daltry Higgins.

Looking back the jazz club seems like a harmless venue for an universally admired American art form. However in the 50s and 60s the jazz club was threatening to many Clevelanders who, much like today, detested the idea of races commingling if even for a night of refreshing beverages and smooth jazz.

After only 3 years of operation the Towne Casino suffered three bomb attacks which were thought to have been racially motivated. Other clubs such as the Jazz Temple suffered similar attacks and sadly the tradition of coercive violence continued on throughout our city’s history.

On August 1, 1953 the Towne Casino closed its doors forever, auctioned off its assets, and posted the above pictured message on its marquee. A sad end to what sounds like a good run at greatness.

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2 Responses to “Towne Casino”

  1. Ryan Miday says:

    Trying to get permission to use this photo in an article or book
    Ryan Miday

  2. […] Photo 3. Cleveland Press Collection/Cleveland State University/Ohio Cleveland SGS […]