Stormy Weather Café On Indiana Avenue was ‘Green Book’ stop


From Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper, “Pictured are Margie and William Benbow, proprietors of Stormy Weather Restaurant located at 319 Indiana Avenue. The restaurant is open all night, and serves the best coffee, chili, plate lunches and sandwiches of all kinds.”

Writes Indiana Avenue scholar Paul Mullins: “Indiana Avenue was home to many well-known venues that hosted nationally known African-American musicians, and Black musicians were reportedly among the most devoted users of the Green Book. Some of the Indiana Avenue venues appearing in the Green Book were managed by people who had traveled widely... Perhaps the best examples were William and Margie Benbow, who opened the Stormy Weather Café in about 1943 at 319 Indiana Avenue. 

William Benbow also became manager of the Log Cabin Supper Club in 1944, a venue that appeared in the 1947-1957 Green Books (it opened in 1939); he managed the Chief Club on Senate Avenue; he was President of the Rhumboogie Social Club (536 ½ Indiana Avenue); and he was a manager and emcee at the Cotton Club, which opened in 1931 but never appeared in the Green Book.
In April, 1944 the Indianapolis Recorder celebrated that the club was “under the personal management of William Benbow, who is nationally known throughout the country as a topflight producer and promoter of theatrical productions…” 
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