Alan Sytner opened the club inspired by visiting Paris's Jazz district, on the Left Bank, where there were a number of clubs in cellars. Sytner returned to Liverpool and wanted to open a club similar to Paris's Le Caveau. He eventually found a perfect cellar for his club, one which had been used as an air raid shelter during the war.
Blues bands and Beat groups began to appear at the club on a regular basis in the early 1960s. The first Beat night was held on May 25, 1960 and featured a performance by Rory Storm and the Hurricanes (which included Ringo Starr as drummer).Cilla Black was the hat-check girl.
In 1961, The Beatles made their first appearance at the club, after returning to Liverpool from Hamburg, Germany, where they had been playing at the Star Club for up to eight hours a night, every night. Their stage show had been through a lot of changes and some in the audience thought they were watching a German band. From 1961 to 1963 The Beatles made 292 appearances at the club. In the decade that followed, a wide variety of popular acts appeared at the club including The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Kinks, Elton John, The Who and John Lee Hooker.The club closed its doors in March of 1973, and was demolished during construction work on the Merseyrail underground rail loop.
A new Cavern Club was opened in April of 1984 by Joe Davey. It was built with some of the same bricks that had been used in the original club and was designed to look as closely as possible like the original.