Incorporated in 1937, Butler’s Paradise Café was listed in The Negro Motorist Green Book, It was one of several “cafés” along Ridge Avenue.
In his book, Fashion and Jazz: Dress, Identity and Subcultural Improvisation, Drexel University professor Alphonso McClendon notes:
The influence of Harlem and the legendary Cotton Club with its extravagant floor shows of light-skinned chorus girls are noted in the previous descriptions, as well as the naming of the Ridge Cotton Club along the Ridge Avenue entertainment district. In addition, the ubiquitous title of café such as Art’s Café, Pocahontas Café, Hy De Ho Café and The Roseland Café implied inspiration from Europe and the desire to accentuate superior social mingling.
Saxophonist Jimmy Woods was a regular at this nightspot.
At some point Butler’s Paradise Café closed. After refurbishing, in December 1952 it reopened as Butler’s Café. Billboard reported that the headliner was “Bill Doggett and his organ and trio.” Doggett co-wrote the smash R&B hit, “Honky Tonk,” which sold four million copies.