Victory Grill was established in 1945 by entrepreneur Johnny Holmes as a gathering place for African-American soldiers returning from World War II, hence the name. It became a significant stop on the “Chitlin’ Circuit” for renowned blues musicians such as James Brown, Tina Turner and Billie Holiday.
To share an oral history of the Victory Grill, E4 Creative Mentors Jadzia Padilla, Jennifer Chavez, and Karina Mata interviewed Harold McMillan. McMillan is a local musician and founder/director of Diverse Arts Culture Works. He also runs Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, the outdoor event space immediately adjacent to Victory Grill.
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