Monte Carlo Cafe, Friday 31 December 1920
Located in the basement of 213 East Hastings (seen here in 1914), the Monte Carlo was a jazz club that in early 1920 the police chief said was “one of the dumps we want to get rid of” because it was “not properly run.” He didn’t elaborate, but may have been referring to selling alcohol (prohibition in Vancouver ended the following year) or tolerating prostitutes, drug users, and/or gamblers in the club. In any case, the Monte Carlo disappeared from city directories by 1922.
The Patricia Cafe was another hot jazz club in this period, as was the Regent Hotel, where Jelly Roll Morton was leading the house band at the end of 1920. All together, the handful of live jazz venues clustered around Main & Hastings made the late teens/early 1920s the halcyon days of Vancouver’s early jazz history.
Source: Top: Vancouver Sun; bottom photo: City of Vancouver Archives #CVA 789-50