Maverick’s Flat, a city-landmarked music venue in Leimert Park, a South LA neighborhood known as a hub for arts, culture, and community activism in the black community, was once a vital venue for Los Angeles’ music scene. Now, it’s renovated and up for sale, asking $3.748 million.
When Maverick’s Flat opened in 1966, the opening act was the Temptations, says Leimert Park, a book published on the history of the neighborhood. Its reputation as one of the foremost jazz, soul, and rhythm and blues venues in Los Angeles grew quickly, and it became an important spot as the Central Avenue jazz scene began to fade away. With acts including Marvin Gaye; Parliament Funkadelic; Earth, Wind, and Fire; the Commodores; and Ike and Tina Turner coming through, it’s no surprise the venue quickly earned the nickname “Apollo of the West,” after the legendary New York theater.
Maverick’s was more than just a place to hear fantastic music—it was an institution. It attracted people of all races and walks of life, the Los Angeles Times wrote in 2000, the year Maverick’s received its official designation as a city Historic-Cultural Monument. In the 1960s, Saturdays might have such celebrities as Marlon Brando or Steve McQueen mingling with non-famous people looking for a good time. “[T]he Crenshaw-area club epitomized the hip, sophisticated camaraderie that blossomed during the civil rights era,” says the Times.
The club was founded by John Daniels, who went on to produce stage shows internationally. In the 1980s, “the grind of running a club began to take its toll” on Daniels, who stopped the regular live music acts and shifted the space toward special events rentals. In the late Aughts, we caught wind of big renovations and a purported reopening of the two-story structure.
New marketing materials indicate renovations did happen, referring to the structure’s “extensive rehab over the past 7 years, including the addition of a 2nd-story private VIP section.” The materials also note the building’s historic status (which protects the facade of the venue and poses big barriers to tearing the structure down).
Tom Watkins, one of the agents listing the property, tells Curbed via email that Maverick’s is bank-owned. The 8,330-square-foot structure sits on an approximately 19,000-square-foot lot, “providing ample parking for patrons.” The club is also roughly a half-mile away from the future Leimert Park station on the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line, which is due to be complete in 2019.