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When owner W.G. Tindel converted a brick rowhouse into a restaurant with a backyard summer garden in the 1920s, he created one of Washington's earliest and most enduring outdoor restaurants. From its opening through the 1950s, Republic Gardens was a major destination on U Street for fans of live jazz. Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker performed here, and reportedly Pearl Bailey first made her name here.

The original club closed in 1960. In 1991 it re-opened, operating until 2001 as an important keystone of the "New U," the redeveloped U Street district. In 2003 it opened again for the third time as a nightclub and lounge.

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