Chinese Castle


8721 Lake City Way N.E.

Much myth surrounds this now vanished roadhouse, which had a turret on top said to have been used to spot Federal agents during Prohibition (probably true) and an escape tunnel to the chicken shack across the street (definitely false). Palmer Johnson played here and described it as a place where piimps and hustlers and prostitutes would come in very late, when their work was done, but also as a roadhouse where college kids came to dance. The China Castle later became the Jolly Roger, which in the 1980s showcased national and local blues acts.