Ever since his trips in the late 40s and early 50s to the jazz clubs of New York's 52nd Street, Ronnie Scott had dreamed of opening his own London club. In 1959, the dream came true. Together with Pete King (a fellow tenor saxophonist and personal friend) Ronnie Scott's club opened in Gerrard Street, in London's Soho.
To begin with, the plan was simply to provide a place where British jazz musicians could jam. Pete and Ronnie quickly developed a reputation of bringing the best of British modern jazz musicians to the club. Soon, they would persuade the American federation of musicians to lift the blanket ban on American performers in the U.K., paving the way for many legendary performances. In 1965, Ronnie Scotts moved to its current location in Frith Street, only a short walk from the 'old place'.
For a more in-depth history of London's foremost jazz venue download The History of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club (PDF).