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End of the Mother-in-Law

June 29, 2010

From New Orleans’ Times-Picayune (as well as local musician friends) comes this sad news:

Mother-in-Law Lounge, January 2010

Betty Fox closing Ernie K-Doe’s Mother-in-Law Lounge
By Alison Fensterstock

The Mother-in-Law Lounge, a Treme landmark opened by New Orleans rhythm-and-blues icon Ernie K-Doe and his wife, Antoinette, in the mid-’90s, will close its bar operation next month but might reopen as a museum dedicated to the K-Doe legend.

Betty Fox, Antoinette K-Doe’s daughter, is set to close Ernie K-Doe’s Mother-In-Law Lounge July 10.

Betty Fox, Antoinette K-Doe’s daughter, announced Monday on her Facebook page that the bar will officially close July 10 after a sale of memorabilia and some of the bar’s fixtures.

Antoinette K-Doe, an experienced bar manager, opened the business as part of a campaign to revitalize her husband’s fading career. With the lounge as his stage and his wife as his cheerleader, K-Doe cemented his legend by the time he died in 2001.

Antoinette K-Doe continued to run the bar, which was rebuilt after the 2005 flood, until her death in the early hours of Mardi Gras 2009.

Shortly after her mother’s death, Fox moved to New Orleans from Memphis to take over the bar. Now, she says, a poor economy, the pressure of taking over a New Orleans institution and a string of bad luck (a car smashed the bar’s front door on March 1 while Fox stood near it) forced her decision to cease regular hours.

Click here for the full article.

We were honored when a group of musicians, spearheaded by guitarist John T. Lewis and drummer/humanities scholar Ben Sandmel, organized an evening of great music at the Mother-in-Law in honor of Still Singing The Blues last January. It was a memorable night, and we can’t quite imagine life in New Orleans without this institution.

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