Located in Gainesville’s Springhill neighborhood, the large wood-frame building was first constructed in 1940-41 as the Post Exchange at Camp Blanding in Starke, Florida. At the end of World War II, the Perryman family purchased the surplus building, moved it to Gainesville and converted it to a movie theater for African American patrons. After its life as a theater it was purchased by an individual who opened it as a big bands club and named it after the famous night club in Harlem, New York. Bands and singers who later became famous, such as James Brown, BB King, Bo Diddley, and Ray Charles performed at the club when it was part of the Chitlin Circuit.
When the Blue Note Club closed in the late 1950s, the building was purchased by Kenneth Gibbs and used as a warehouse for the Babcock Furniture Company until 1970, after which it remained vacant. The site has since been purchased and is being preserved and renovated by the Cotton Club Museum & Cultural Center.