Welcome to the Last Great American Roadhouse: The Stanhope House
If walls could talk, the old walls of the Stanhope House (c.1794), the Last Great American Road House, would have some serious stories to tell. The club was the stomping grounds and post-show hangout of a massive array of loved blues legends.
Today our two stages, The Roadhouse Stage and The Crossfire Lounge, offer a wide range of experiences – from the good ol’ blues to hip-hop, punk, reggae, rock, as well as comedy nights, open jams and everything in between. Our small size allows us to create an intimate setting and “family” atmosphere, making any visit to The Stanhope House a memorable experience unlike any other. We strive to honor and add to the already illustrious history of our venue.
Imagine, the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughn scrubbing dishes in the kitchen after a late night, jam packed gig. Picture Muddy Waters‘ deep, grainy voice trading chicken recipes with former club Matron, Mama Wrobleski or the original Hoochie Coochie Man, Willie Dixon stopping by for Thanksgiving dinner. All of it happened at The Stanhope House, one of the last great blues bastions left in America.
The former private home, stagecoach stop, general store, post office, tavern, rooming house (some say brothel) and hotel became well-known in the early 1970s for featuring a list of performers that reads like a who’s who of Blues-Rock history. Paul Butterfield, Charlie Musselwhite, Dr. John, Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson, Billy Branch, Lonnie Mack, Son Seals, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Hubert Sumlin, Johnny Copeland, Richie Havens, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Albert King and Buddy Guy rocked the stage, most more than once.
More recently we have been honored to host Rakim, Samantha Fish, Rusted Root, Tab Benoit, KRS-One, Tim Reynolds, Richie Ramone, Gilbert Gottfried, Ghostface Killah, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and more.
This honky tonk is also rumored to be home to an entirely different kind of “soul“. With over two hundred years of history to pull from, it’s no surprise that there have been whispers about the Stanhope House Ghost, a spirit that has made unexpected visits to the club and caused more than one midnight manager a bit of uneasiness. There have been stories of doors randomly opening and closing and unexplained footsteps. Apparently though, this ghost is the helpful sort – employees have arrived to find glasses that were left dirty and in disarray the night before, clean and neatly put away.
Speaking of empty glasses, none other than The Great Bambino, Babe Ruth, used to call The Stanhope House his speakeasy in the days of prohibition. He even left a baseball bat behind for us to remember those hazy nights gone by.
So, whether trying to mingle with ghosts or blues, come on down and experience the history. Taste our all-American home cooking, have a drink and see the best in blues, rock, soul and more on a stage of legends.