Just a week after announcing the permanent closure of Ernie K-Doe's Mother-In-Law Lounge, club owner Betty Fox has decided to keep the beloved institution open after all. Miss Betty is holding a fundraising event on Sunday, July 11, with live music by Ernie Vincent, Guitar Lightnin' Lee, Big Chief Alfred Doucette, John T. Lewis, and Big Al Carson. Come on out and help keep the lights on in the Lounge!
Self-proclaimed "Emperor of the Universe" Ernie K-Doe opened the Mother-In-Law Lounge in 1994 in the Treme as a place for local musicians to gather and play, naming the club after his New Orleans R&B classic "Mother In Law". When Ernie passed, his widow Antoinette K-Doe kept the club going until her own passing on Mardi Gras Day 2009.
After a brief hiatus, the Lounge was re-opened by Antoinette's daughter, Betty Fox, who moved from Memphis to New Orleans to take ownership of the club and help carry on her family's tradition. "I want to keep the Lounge open because it was my mom's dream. There's no fame involved, it's just a place for the community — and the musicians — to come together," she said in mid-2009.
After a year and a half of struggling to keep the doors open despite mold and other lingering damage from being completely underwater after the Federal Flood of '05 — not to mention wayward cars repeatedly driving into the building — Betty decided to close the club. She told the Gambit Weekly that she had been sleeping on the couch in the bar for the duration of her tenure as club owner, and she was looking forward to finding a house to live in.