Alan Sytner opened the club after visiting Paris's Jazz district, on the West Bank, where a number of clubs were actually built inside of caves. Sytner returned to Liverpool and wanted to open a club similar to Paris's Le Caveau. Since there were no caves in the middle of Liverpool, Sytner eventually found a perfect cellar for his club. The cellar 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 hatcheck girl.
In 1961, The Beatles made their first appearance at the club, after returning to Liverpool from Hamburg, Germany, where they had been playing 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, now owned by Joe Davey was rebuilt across the road from the original location, and opened in April of 1984. It was built with some of the same bricks that had been used in the original club and was designed to look almost exactly the same as the original.