‘There’s nothing like it’: Bradfordville Blues Club to close after two decades under current owners

Hidden off the beaten path in Bradfordville, you’ll find a cinder block, juke joint known for hosting some of the biggest names in blues.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 9:19 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A blues club in Tallahassee known for bringing in renowned blues artists for decades will host its last show in little more than a week.

Owners of the Bradfordville Blues Club Gary and Kim Anton have been running it for 21 years and said they are ready for the next chapter of their lives.

Gary told WCTV’S Madison Glaser that he and his wife frequented the bar for years before they actually took it over and that they’ll dearly miss the people they’ve met along the way.

Hidden off the beaten path in Bradfordville, you’ll find a cinder block, juke joint known for hosting some of the biggest names in blues.

“There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world because we’ve had bands come from all over the country, all over Europe, Australia, and they all say the same thing,” said owner Gary Anton. “You come in and especially the older guys and they put their guitar cases down and say this is the type of place that I cut my teeth on.”

The Bradfordville Blues Club, a place known for its history that dates back to the 1800s, and a commemoration of the ‘Mississippi Blues Trail’ lies on the front lawn.

“This property was purchased by the Henry family in the 1880s and they have kept it in the family and have passed it down over the generations to other members, said owner Gary Anton. “In the early days, there was a baseball team that played out here.’”

In 1964, the place we know today took shape, and inside you’ll find portraits that line the walls, and art displayed on table tops all representing the kings and queens of blues that have taken the stage over the years.

“This wall over here has got some of the giants of the blues, unfortunately, all five of those have already passed away but these are the types of folks that helped create the music,” Anton said.

After nearly 21 years in the business, club owners Gary and Kim Anton are ready to move on to their next adventure.

“This will be my third retirement and my wife’s second retirement but we’re looking to go out and see the grandkids and the family and do a little bit of traveling. gonna miss this place, gonna miss it sorely but all good things come to an end,” Anton said.

Long-time visitor Dan Mac Macdonald shared that the memories made here are something that he will forever hold dear.

“Nothing compares to the many friends, musicians, technical staff, support staff and great staff here at the Bradfordville Blues Club, and being here right on the ‘Mississippi Blues Trail’ with all the traditions that are around us is awesome,” said visitor Dan Mac Macdonald.

Anton cherished all the years that blues bands have come to them and now he’s looking forward to traveling to them.

“Now we have the opportunity to get out and see other bands and other people and just see what the new chapter in my life brings,” Anton said.

Anton said that they are going out the way they started with musician Johnnie Marshall taking the stage at the BBC for the last time on April 1st.

All the shows leading up to the last day are sold out.