Arts Desk

Cafe Nema Closing Tomorrow

Update 11:34 AM: Although advertisements for the final night of live music were still on display this morning, Capitalbop reports that last night was actually the final gig. Cafe Nema will be open only for food and drink on Monday and Tuesday.

Cafe Nema

Prince of Petworth reported it as a rumor last week. This morning, a sign on the door confirms it:

After 15 years serving the U Street Corridor, it is a sad day for us to report that Café Nema (& Momo’s) will be closing its doors for good, Tuesday October 12th, 2010.

For more information, go to Cafe-Nema.com.

This is yet more bad news for DC jazz. Cafe Nema was more than just the city's only Somali restaurant (with a full and pretty great bar); it was also one of the most reliable jazz venues in the city. Airmen of Note saxophonist Tedd Baker gigged there weekly, as did Nate and Noble Jolley. It was the Young Lions, however, whose Thursday night stand at Nema was one of the keystones of the local scene.

There is a ray of hope, however: According to Cafe Nema's website, "we are in the process of trying to establish a ‘New and Improved’ Cafe Nema." No further details are available at the moment, however. In the meantime, the restaurant is planning one last night of jazz this evening, with the Jolley Brothers coming on at 10:30 p.m.

Oh, and confidential to D.C. jazz as a whole: They say bad things happen in threes. With the Butch Warren and Kevin Pace firings, this is three. You can stop now, while I'm still clinging to the "silver age for the local scene" meme.

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