Summertime is traditionally tough for local music venues, and on Tuesday, one had already conceded to the heat.

Trumpeter Kermit Ruffins announced he was cutting back the hours at his music club and barroom at 1500 North Claiborne Avenue.


Kermit Ruffins people-watches during a party for musician Charlie Gabriel's 91st birthday at Kermit's Treme Mother-in-Law Lounge in New Orleans, Sunday, July 9, 2023. (Photo by Scott Threlkeld, | The Times-Picayune)

The mural-covered Kermit's Treme Mother-in-Law Lounge will, until further notice, only be open to the public two days a week.

"It's been real slow," Ruffins wrote on Facebook.

The Mother-in-Law Lounge will open Tuesdays at 4 p.m. ahead of trumpeter Irvin Mayfield's weekly performance from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The club will then go dark until Saturdays, when doors open at 6 from Ruffins' weekly gig from 8 to 10 p.m.

Otherwise, the Mother-in-Law Lounge will only be active for private events.?


Members of the NOPD monitor the area around Kermit's Tremé Mother-in-Law Lounge along N. Claiborne Ave. under the I-10 on Mardi Grad Day in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. (Photo by Max Becherer,, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

Ruffins has operated the lounge since 2011.

The ramshackle barroom previously served as the headquarters for rhythm & blues eccentric Ernie K-Doe, purveyor of the hit “Mother-in-Law.”

After K-Doe’s death in 2001, his widow, Antoinette, operated the Mother-in-Law Lounge as a shrine to her late husband – complete with a life-size mannequin she dressed in the real K-Doe’s clothes – and quasi-community center for an assortment of Treme old-timers and young, bohemian musicians.

Fueled by Antoinette K-Doe's legendary red beans and rice, artist Daniel Fuselier worked off-and-on for seven years to cover the exterior of the two-story building with dozens of vibrant, larger-than-life renderings, including cartoonish portraits of the K-Does.

Antoinette died of a heart attack on Mardi Gras morning 2009. Her daughter Betty Fox, manager of an auto parts store in Memphis, Tenn., moved to New Orleans and took over the Mother-in-Law Lounge. But she struggled with various financial and logistical challenges, cars crashing into the front door, and the fact that she wasn't her irrepressible mother.

She closed the Lounge in December 2010. Weeks later, Ruffins signed a lease on the property.

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