NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Lenox Lounge, a historic Harlem jazz club that has hosted greats including Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, will be closing its doors on New Year’s Eve.

The lounge, at 288 Lenox Ave. just south of 125th Street, was founded in 1939. But longtime owner Alvin Reed said with rents on the rise, he can no longer afford the lease on the jazz landmark.

He said the landlord wanted $20,000 per month.

The distinctive art deco façade, design and signage at the Lenox Lounge are described on its Web site as “hallmark examples of one of the few art deco structures left in New York City.”

The lounge was the site where Langston Hughes narrated “The Story of Jazz,” and where Alex Haley interviewed Malcolm X for his biography. Authors James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston and Ralph Ellison were also regulars, the Web site for the establishment recalls.

The space is set to be taken over in the new year by Richard Notar, a managing partner at Nobu Restaurants.

Notar tells The New York Times he hopes to keep the bar as “an old watering hole” with live music, but he hasn’t worked out a deal with Reed yet to use the Lenox Lounge name.

Do you have any memories of the Lenox Lounge? Leave your comments below…

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