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History

The Hippodrome Theater is located in Jackson Ward; known as the “Harlem of the South,” no doubt a reference to the quality musical talent that it attracted.  In its heyday, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong performed at the HIPP.  The theater has been beautifully restored with meticulous attention to detail.  This is truly a one-of-a-kind venue and entertainment mecca for all.

 

Located in Jackson Ward, a recognized National Historical Landmark in the city of Richmond, The Hippodrome Theater and the Taylor Mansion are the centerpieces of the latest project to return this area to its legendary prominence. This historic neighborhood was the center of African American commerce and entertainment in the early 1900s, garnering the nickname “Harlem of the South”.

 

The famed Second Street, known as “The Deuce”, was a bustling hot spot of performance venues including the same Hippodrome Theater that stands today. Built in 1914 as a vaudeville and movie theater, it later became a celebrated musical locale attracting such legendary greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Duke Ellington, and Cab Calloway – just to name a few.

Rich in cultural development, Jackson Ward was home to many influential people, including Maggie Walker, the first woman to charter and serve as president of an American bank, and Rev. William Lee Taylor, president of The United Order of True Reformers.

Taylor’s private home, originally built in 1907 by renowned architect John Lankford, has now been beautifully revitalized into the adjacent restaurant, The Speakeasy Grill, specializing in Southeastern Cuisine.

 

FAQs

• Where are you located?

We are located at 526-528 North 2nd Street, between Clay and Leigh Streets.

• What are the hours of operation?

The Speakeasy Grill is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we are open for Lunch from 11:30am-2:00pm and Dinner from 5:00pm-9:00pm. Saturday we are open for Dinner from 5:00pm-9:00pm. Sundays we are open for Brunch from 11:00am-3:00pm. 

• How do I find out about events being held at The Speakeasy Lounge or The Hippodrome Theater?

Events being held in The Speakeasy Lounge and The Hippodrome Theater may be viewed by looking at our events calendar here.

What is the dress code?

Business Casual. No hats, bandanas, work boots, or ripped jeans please.

• Where do I park?

We offer valet services for $5 per car most Fridays and Saturdays. Street parking is also available (two hour limit until 4:00pm), in addition to Public Parking Lots, which account for over 5,000 spaces within a 2 block radius.

• Can you accommodate for large parties at The Speakeasy Grill?

Yes. For parties of 10 or more, we request a credit card number upon making the reservation. If a change or cancellation is made within 24 hours in advance, no charge will be applied to the card on file. However, if no prior notice is given, a $20 charge will be placed on the credit card at the end of the night for every person in your party that does not show up.

• Is handicap access available?

The Hippodrome Theater is handicap accessible. In order to access the The Speakeasy Grill or The Speakeasy Lounge, please notify the hostess or manager on duty upon arrival or by calling (804) 308-2913. Those patrons who may be handicapped will enter through the first floor of the Hippodrome Theater where the handicapped lift is located.

• How do I book a private event?

Private events may be booked by using our Private Event Inquiry form (Click Here), or by contacting our event coordinator at (804) 308-2913.

If you have any further inquiries please do not hesitate to give us a call!

(804) 308-2913

 

Parking Options

The following is a map and list of nearby parking lots near the Hippodrome Theater and The Speakeasy Grill. The Hippodrome and The Greater Richmond Convention Center are surrounded by 5,400 parking spaces within a six-block radius. When selecting a parking lot, we encourage you to be familiar with all parking lot rules and responsibilities before making the commitment to park.

 

1. The Greater Richmond Convention Center Parking Deck – 800 spaces- $6.00 per day
Pay attendant upon entry. Payments accepted; cash, Master Card, Visa, American Express.
3rd Street and East Marshall Street. (Enter from 3rd Street.)

2. Richmond Parking Surface Lot – 135 spaces (honor box) – $3.00
East Marshal Street and 2nd Street.

3. Richmond Parking Surface Lot – 100 spaces (attendant/honor box) – $5.00
East Marshall Street and 3rd Street.

4. Richmond Parking Surface Lot – 130 spaces (honor box) – $3.00
East Marshall Street between 1st and 2nd Street.

5. Standard Parking Deck (attendant) – $5.00
500 East Marshall Street