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Manhattan Casino

Built in 1925, the Manhattan Casino is significant for its contribution to entertainment and the culture in the African American community for more than forty years. Some of American music's most legendary performers played at the Manhattan including James Brown, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughn, Fats Domino and the Ink Spots. After the era of the big bands, the Manhattan Casino hosted dances featuring local artists; rock and roll and blues singers popular in the 1960's.

Sylvia’s Queen of Soul Food Restaurant™ St. Petersburg now occupies the ground floor of the Historic Manhattan Casino, and beginning November 9, 2013, the restaurant will serve savory soul food meals for lunch and dinner 7 days a week (Monday through Thursday 11 am to 10 pm; Friday & Saturday 11 am to 11 pm; and Sunday 11 am to 9 pm). Also enjoy Gospel Sunday brunches every Sunday at the Historic Manhattan Casino, as well as catering by Sylvia’s for events, large and small. For details and reservations please call 727-824-7221.   


Visit the Official website at www.themanhattancasino.com for reservations, event, amenities and more information.

History of the Manhattan Casino


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Built in 1925, the Manhattan Casino is significant for its contribution to entertainment and the culture in the African American community for more than forty years. The property is also significant for its association with Elder Jordan, a local African-American entrepreneur whose business interests were broadly varied.

The Manhattan Casino is located along 22nd Street South in what was once a thriving "main street" of the City's African American community. The main corridor, 22nd Street South, was home of the Seaboard Coastline Building (designated a local landmark in 1992), the Manhattan Casino (the African American community's dance hall) and the Mercy Hospital, the primary medical facility for the City's African American community. Elder Jordan and his sons contracted in 1925 with R.L. Sharpe to build a 12,000 sq. ft. two-story Manhattan Casino, which first opened as an entertainment facility named the Jordan Dance Hall in 1931. Later the dance hall became known as the Manhattan Casino; during segregation the 

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Manhattan was the place for cultural and social entertainment similar to what the Coliseum provided to the white community.

The Manhattan Casino was a showcase for local African American artists as well as a haven for traveling African American entertainers who would stop in St. Petersburg during their tours. Some of American music's most legendary performers played at the Manhattan including James Brown, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughn, Fats Domino and the Ink Spots. After the era of the big bands, the Manhattan Casino hosted dances featuring local artists; rock and roll and blues singers popular in the 1960's also performed at the Casino. Goldie Thompson, local minister and radio personality, booked religious programs at the Casino, as did Father Divine, a spiritualist. The venue closed its doors in 1968.

City of St. Petersburg
P.O. Box 2842
St. Petersburg, FL 33731

  • p: 727-893-7111
  • f: 727-892-5102
  • tty: 727-892-5259
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