CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2009 |
Laura Mae Gross, a strong-willed Mississippi woman who came to the West Coast and founded a club that became a staple of Los Angeles' blues scene, died Saturday of heart failure, according to relatives. She was 89. Gross, also known as "Mama," opened Babe's and Ricky's Inn on Central Avenue in 1964 and hosted legends such as Bobby "Blue" Bland and John Lee Hooker while serving cold beer and soda and drawing an integrated crowd. On Monday nights, often the most popular, a $2 cover also earned patrons a fried chicken dinner.