Located on 15th and Arch streets in Center City, the jazz spot was owned by Tommy “TnT” Monroe.
A bandleader, Monroe was part of the Philadelphia ecosystem that nurtured young musicians like Lee Morgan and Reggie Workman. In Jeffrey S. McMillan’s paper, “A Musical Education: Lee Morgan and the Philadelphia Jazz Scene of the 1950’s,” Workman recounted:
There was a very healthy music scene in the community taverns at the time, aside from the fact that there were people like Tommy Monroe who ran music workshops for young musicians,or Owen Marshall’s big band workshop with new music he wrote and that rehearsed in living rooms, taverns, ballrooms, any place that had a piano and chairs and where we could make music.
The house band at TnT Monroe’s included Sid Simmons, Charles Fambrough and Craig McIver. Tenor saxophonist Bootsie Barnes (pictured) ran the jam sessions.