Baker's Keyboard Lounge sold in a bankruptcy auction Monday for $395,000, and it will remain a jazz club for the foreseeable future. Although there were fears someone could tear it down and put up a dollar store, the new owners, Hugh W. Smith III and Eric Whitaker, say they intend to keep the historic jazz venue up and running. Smith and Whitaker plan to give the club a much-needed cleaning and freshening. As the manager of Baker's for the last two years, Smith says he knows exactly what needs to be done.
"She's 77 years old, she needs a new dress, we need to spruce up the old girl," Smith said. The venerable club, located on Livernois just south of Eight Mile, was graced by such jazz icons as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie.