Last week, Prince of Petworth reported—-and Washington Business Journal confirmed—-that the former Professional Pharmacy building at 2917 Georgia Ave. NW would be reopening as a jazz club and theater. The Enterprise, owned by Howard University obstetrician and professor Kerry Lewis and his wife Charletta, will present theater and jazz productions from both local and international performers, as well as serve soup and sandwiches. (A liquor license application is pending.)
“What we’re really looking for is a Cotton Club-ish type of atmosphere,” says Charletta Lewis, referring to the famous Harlem Renaissance nightclub. Asked if that includes the Cotton’s legendary floor shows, Lewis laughs. “Something like the floor shows, yes,” she says. “The place will come alive—-and not just on the stage!” The Lewises have already worked out a deal with Pin Points, Inc., a community theater company based near Texas Avenue SE with which Charletta has worked before, as its resident company. Auditions are currently underway for a house jazz band, as well; in addition, some artists have already been approached for bookings, although Lewis declined to give specifics.
The Enterprise will also offer a membership program, Lewis adds. “It’s not a private club,” she stresses, “but we are offering memberships that will include certain privileges. No having to stand in line to get in, for example.” Members will also have early opportunities to purchase upcoming show tickets, and even complementary tickets.
If The Enterprise is a success, Lewis says that she and her husband plan to explore opportunities to open similar venues in Detroit and Atlantic City.
While work is still being completed on the 4,400-square-foot space, The Enterprise held a soft opening on Sept. 3; there is no official date for a grand opening yet, but the Lewises are targeting the second week of October.