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Chateau Flamenco: Flamenco in 1960s New Orleans

Chartres House Cafe, potential former location of the Chateau Flamenco. Photo by Briana Prevost

This is an accompanying piece to New Orleans All The Way Live: Ven Pa’ Ca’ – Flamenco in New Orleans

 

Sometime in the mid-to-late 1960s, there was one flamenco club in New Orleans, that the now-defunct New Orleans State-Item regarded as, “no better entertainment in New Orleans,” Chateau Flamenco. Located on Chartres Street, according to clippings, the venue featured three performances regularly around 9:00pm, 10:00pm and midnight from some of the world’s most famous flamenco dancers of their day. Such talent included Ciro, Antonio de Madrid, Luisa Escobar, Roberto Millet and Rosa Montoya (the grandniece of famous Spanish guitarist, Ramon Montoya, who is considered to be the father of flamenco guitar).

Even though scanned ad clippings list the venue at 601 Chartres, the address of this venue is the subject of some debate. A search of New Orleans city directories lists Chateau Flamenco, at 607 Chartres, in each of the volumes from 1967 to 1972. In 1966, Ace Washateria is listed at the same 607 address, while by 1973 Café Banquette is listed at that location.

According to Sean Benjamin, a Public Services Librarian of the Louisiana Research Collection, the Historic New Orleans Collection recently put their Vieux Carre Survey online with a big question mark on the 600 hundred block of Chartres which includes the street addresses 601 through 607 Chartres Street (Click here to see the survey). http://hnoc.dreamhosters.com/dev/property_info.php?lot=18487 Benjamin thinks this may explain the two different street addresses on the flyers and in the city directory.

Currently housed at 601 Chartres (and simultaneously, 601 Toulouse) is a restaurant, Chartres House Cafe, which specializes in blackened catfish, lemon chicken and barbecue shrimp. 607 Chartres contains something all French Quarter residents are used to seeing at every corner, a tourist rest-stop, Fleur-Dis-Lis Tours, complete with an ATM.


Thank you to Sean Benjamin for help with this research. All clippings and scans referred to were from “Dance. Flamenco” file, Ephemera Collection, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University.

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