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Great Coffee Houses

Related thread:
Favorite Chicago Club tales... (20)


LEJ 01 Jul 99 - 05:54 PM
Jeri 01 Jul 99 - 08:29 PM
Night Owl 02 Jul 99 - 12:56 AM
gargoyle 02 Jul 99 - 01:05 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 02 Jul 99 - 03:55 AM
02 Jul 99 - 05:01 AM
Cap't Bob 02 Jul 99 - 08:53 AM
Vixen 02 Jul 99 - 09:12 AM
Wally Macnow 02 Jul 99 - 09:41 AM
harpgirl 02 Jul 99 - 02:58 PM
LEJ 02 Jul 99 - 03:00 PM
Alice 02 Jul 99 - 03:21 PM
annamill 02 Jul 99 - 03:38 PM
Banjoman_CO 02 Jul 99 - 03:47 PM
annamill 02 Jul 99 - 03:53 PM
Roger in Baltimore 02 Jul 99 - 04:36 PM
Leslie 02 Jul 99 - 04:56 PM
John Hindsill 02 Jul 99 - 04:57 PM
John Hindsill 02 Jul 99 - 05:59 PM
Llanfair 02 Jul 99 - 06:51 PM
gargoyle 02 Jul 99 - 07:07 PM
Lonesome EJ 02 Jul 99 - 07:26 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 02 Jul 99 - 08:16 PM
Big Mick 02 Jul 99 - 11:59 PM
Rita64 03 Jul 99 - 12:10 AM
catspaw49 03 Jul 99 - 01:10 AM
BK 03 Jul 99 - 01:12 AM
Big Mick 03 Jul 99 - 10:23 AM
annamill 03 Jul 99 - 10:45 AM
Anne 03 Jul 99 - 09:12 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 03 Jul 99 - 09:47 PM
Mark Cohen 03 Jul 99 - 11:58 PM
Rita64 04 Jul 99 - 12:37 AM
gargoyle 04 Jul 99 - 01:16 AM
Sourdough 04 Jul 99 - 03:31 AM
Roger in Baltimore 04 Jul 99 - 10:57 AM
annamill 04 Jul 99 - 11:12 AM
The Shambles 04 Jul 99 - 02:17 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Jul 99 - 02:42 PM
Art Thieme 04 Jul 99 - 03:41 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 04 Jul 99 - 07:17 PM
Night Owl 05 Jul 99 - 01:59 AM
SOurdough 05 Jul 99 - 03:05 AM
carlzen 05 Jul 99 - 03:24 AM
Night Owl 05 Jul 99 - 04:17 AM
Barry Finn 05 Jul 99 - 09:48 AM
SOurdough 06 Jul 99 - 03:43 AM
Sourdough 06 Jul 99 - 03:49 AM
thosp 06 Jul 99 - 03:53 AM
Vixen 06 Jul 99 - 08:18 AM
Art Thieme 06 Jul 99 - 09:55 AM
Easy Rider 06 Jul 99 - 09:58 AM
Allan C. 06 Jul 99 - 10:35 AM
o'hanrahan 06 Jul 99 - 11:42 AM
folk1234 06 Jul 99 - 01:30 PM
Art Thieme 06 Jul 99 - 06:43 PM
Big Mick 06 Jul 99 - 11:01 PM
ddw in windsor 06 Jul 99 - 11:24 PM
Curtis & Loretta 06 Jul 99 - 11:34 PM
Divine Wilygoatess (inactive) 07 Jul 99 - 03:20 PM
Art Thieme 07 Jul 99 - 08:21 PM
Lonesome EJ 08 Jul 99 - 12:15 AM
Sourdough 26 Jul 99 - 01:26 AM
don in oshawa 26 Jul 99 - 10:51 AM
bbelle 26 Jul 99 - 02:08 PM
Pete Peterson 26 Jul 99 - 06:29 PM
Mark Cohen 26 Jul 99 - 11:11 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Jul 99 - 02:10 AM
Sourdough 27 Jul 99 - 02:23 AM
Pete Curry 27 Jul 99 - 01:10 PM
annamill 27 Jul 99 - 01:14 PM
Roger the zimmer 28 Jul 99 - 11:45 AM
Penny S. 28 Jul 99 - 12:33 PM
Mike Strobel 28 Jul 99 - 01:36 PM
Sourdough 31 Jul 99 - 12:55 PM
Mudjack 31 Jul 99 - 04:57 PM
Lonesome EJ 14 Feb 01 - 02:04 AM
Lonesome Gillette 14 Feb 01 - 06:15 AM
RichM 14 Feb 01 - 09:36 AM
Jim the Bart 14 Feb 01 - 10:53 AM
Gray Rooster 14 Feb 01 - 11:51 AM
Lonesome Gillette 14 Feb 01 - 11:52 AM
Lonesome Gillette 14 Feb 01 - 11:56 AM
Gray Rooster 14 Feb 01 - 12:09 PM
Art Thieme 14 Feb 01 - 12:46 PM
BlueJay 14 Feb 01 - 01:01 PM
Sourdough 15 Feb 01 - 04:55 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 15 Feb 01 - 08:57 AM
Gray Rooster 15 Feb 01 - 11:53 AM
RoyH (Burl) 15 Feb 01 - 12:09 PM
Art Thieme 15 Feb 01 - 12:13 PM
RoyH (Burl) 15 Feb 01 - 12:16 PM
RoyH (Burl) 15 Feb 01 - 12:46 PM
wdyat12 15 Feb 01 - 05:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Feb 01 - 08:03 PM
RoyH (Burl) 16 Feb 01 - 01:08 PM
Deckman 16 Feb 01 - 08:58 PM
Deckman 17 Feb 01 - 12:17 PM
Hollowfox 17 Feb 01 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,Blind desert Pete 21 Feb 01 - 02:05 PM
Art Thieme 21 Feb 01 - 02:29 PM
Art Thieme 21 Feb 01 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Guest, NYC 21 Feb 01 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,JOANN FROM BOSTON 05 Sep 04 - 10:36 AM
Amos 05 Sep 04 - 12:36 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Sep 04 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 10 Sep 04 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,EMPTY MIND BUDDHIST, SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI 18 Dec 04 - 01:32 AM
robomatic 18 Dec 04 - 02:04 AM
14fret 18 Dec 04 - 04:14 PM
dianavan 18 Dec 04 - 09:37 PM
Peace 18 Dec 04 - 10:20 PM
Peace 19 Dec 04 - 12:33 AM
jaze 19 Dec 04 - 11:37 AM
Don Firth 19 Dec 04 - 01:11 PM
dianavan 19 Dec 04 - 01:26 PM
kendall 19 Dec 04 - 02:22 PM
Don Firth 19 Dec 04 - 03:13 PM
Don Firth 19 Dec 04 - 03:17 PM
dianavan 19 Dec 04 - 08:59 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Dec 04 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,janet yacht 24 Nov 05 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 25 Nov 05 - 10:42 AM
Padre 25 Nov 05 - 10:55 PM
Joybell 25 Nov 05 - 11:45 PM
Deckman 26 Nov 05 - 12:27 AM
JJ 26 Nov 05 - 08:59 AM
Padre 26 Nov 05 - 10:02 PM
JJ 27 Nov 05 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,sheridan805 04 Mar 07 - 02:51 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 19 Sep 07 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 19 Sep 07 - 12:38 PM
frogprince 19 Sep 07 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 20 Sep 07 - 11:57 AM
Lonesome EJ 20 Sep 07 - 01:13 PM
Amos 20 Sep 07 - 01:28 PM
Mark Ross 20 Sep 07 - 04:49 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 20 Sep 07 - 04:56 PM
RiGGy 21 Sep 07 - 06:25 PM
Barry Finn 21 Sep 07 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,Frank Macias 23 Apr 08 - 02:36 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 23 Apr 08 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 29 Apr 08 - 07:56 AM
frogprince 29 Apr 08 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 29 Apr 08 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Goodnight Gracie 30 Apr 08 - 10:33 AM
Amos 30 Apr 08 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 30 Apr 08 - 11:03 AM
Amos 30 Apr 08 - 11:26 AM
GUEST 30 Apr 08 - 11:51 AM
frogprince 30 Apr 08 - 02:11 PM
Amos 30 Apr 08 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,wes 19 Nov 10 - 07:23 PM
GUEST 20 Nov 10 - 12:03 AM
frogprince 20 Nov 10 - 12:08 AM
dick greenhaus 20 Nov 10 - 02:05 PM
Crowhugger 20 Nov 10 - 02:32 PM
Don Firth 20 Nov 10 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,sandrolin 20 Nov 10 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Witherspoon 03 Jan 13 - 03:28 AM
GUEST,sandy 23 Mar 14 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,Guest - Lin 24 Mar 14 - 01:20 AM
GUEST,Guest - Lin 24 Mar 14 - 01:24 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Mar 14 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,GUEST: St. Paul Girl 12 Jul 14 - 03:32 AM
GUEST,Bill 05 Oct 14 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,johnnvic 06 Nov 14 - 06:45 PM
PHJim 07 Nov 14 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 08 Nov 14 - 07:09 AM
ChanteyLass 08 Nov 14 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,Judah 03 Sep 15 - 10:04 PM
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Subject: Great Coffee Houses
From: LEJ
Date: 01 Jul 99 - 05:54 PM

Art's touching words about the No Exit Cafe inspired me to start this thread. What are/were some other great venues that featured java, poetry and music?

When I moved to Denver in 1976, Muddy Waters was the place. It was a little ram-shackle place on Wazee Street where you could have Espresso, buy a used book, hear live music or poetry, or enjoy a casual meal. It also housed a small theatre (seated about 30 people) where original work by local playwrights was presented. The walls were burlap covered, the floor ancient oak planks, and there was always a chess game in progress. I'm not sure if it still exists.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 99 - 08:29 PM

In my old stomping grounds, the place was, and is, Cafe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY. Old brick walls, never enough room, the best iced mocha on the planet. Lena was there to greet everyone as they walked up the narrow stairs to the Cafe on the second floor, and to say goodbye at the end of the evening. I went to hear the music, but there were poetry readings and plays put on there, too. There was an old Wurlitzer jukebox (I don't know if it worked) and interesting women's room grafitti. The place probably hasn't changed much, and I regret living too far away to get there.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Night Owl
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 12:56 AM

"Passim's" in Boston and "Joshua's Loft" in New Bedford.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: gargoyle
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 01:05 AM

Golden Bear - Huntington Beach CA

Light House - Hermosa Beach CA

Ice House - Pasadena CA

1960's Southern Cal.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:55 AM

In Berkeley it's The Freight and Salvage: Long and narrow, stage raised about two feet or so above the floor, good seating up front, not so good behind the halfway mark. A good selection of artists: in the last few years I saw Robin and Linda Williams, Mike Seeger, The Austin Lounge Lizards, Laurie Lewis and Tom Rosum, The Dry Branch Fire Squad, and others, and missed Tony Trishka and bunches of other greats. Coffee, tea, muffins and cookies from the bar in back, but few tables, mostly a motley collection of chairs aimed at the stage. It seats a couple hundred or so.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From:
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 05:01 AM

the "E-bar" - black, twisted, back alley of Pasadena. Now closed. Seating for 50 and standing for 50 in the alley. A feeling that you could be mugged at any moment but a gathering of students, punks, itellectuals and celebrities

Back room of McCabe's guitar shop. Los Angeles


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 08:53 AM

The "Ark" in Ann Arbor, Michigan is a really great one. It has been moved a few times it has survived and is still doing well. Too bad we live about 200 miles north.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Vixen
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 09:12 AM

I wonder if any of you chanty singin' cats recall "The Jolly Beggar's" in Mystic CT? Long gone, unfortunately. I've heard John's on Cottrell Street is good.

The Vanilla Bean in Pomfret, CT has good stuff, and The Paradise Eatery in Willimantic CT has a nice, small, friendly Friday night jam session.

V


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Wally Macnow
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 09:41 AM

In the early '70s, "The Focus" in Manhattan was run by Debby McClatchy who booked it and baked for it. 'Twas a grand place to hear great music.

Before that, it was Gerde's which was a bar and not a coffee house. They had the best open mike in the world. All the New York crowd and a lot of visiting singers showed up there on Monday nights. It was hosted by Brother John Sellers.

Another bar that had a great open mike was "The Red Fox" in Silver Spring, Maryland outside of Washington, DC. This one was hosted first by Mike Holmes and then by Bruce Hutton of the Double Decker String Band.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: harpgirl
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 02:58 PM

...a second vote for the Ann Arbor Ark: particularly when it was in the Presbyterian House on Hill street. That's where I first saw Art Thieme perform...harpy


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: LEJ
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:00 PM

What was the name of the San Francisco coffee house where Allen Ginsberg performed the first public reading of Howl ? Was it The Matrix?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Alice
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:21 PM

LEJ, I will be in Denver for about 5 days the middle of this month (July). I'll be staying with my boss and his family in Idaho Springs. I think I used to have your email address, but can't find it, and the Mudcat personal message page here doesn't work for me. Any chance there is a music get together somewhere during that time where we can meet? -alice


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: annamill
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:38 PM

LEJ, I think it was The Purple Onion, or The Hungry Eye.

annap


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Banjoman_CO
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:47 PM

In Oklahoma City the "Buddhi" and the "Sword and Stone" were great coffee houses with top notch entertainers. In Tulsa it was the "Dust Bowl" and in Houston it was "Sand Mountain". Ron Shipman's club in Dallas was a great club but I can't remember the name of it. All of these featured great entertainers.

Fred


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: annamill
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:53 PM

Now you're in my time -Greenwich Village circa 1960.

The Night Owl, The Fat Black Pussy Cat, The Cafe Wha?, The Feenjon, The Rienzi, The Bitter End, and a whole bunch more all within a radius of 5 blocks. Folk music heaven. The reason I'm so attracted to Mudcat lies in those days. I worked in most of those coffeehouses listening to the finest music and some pretty bad. The owners didn't pay anything so anyone could play and pass a basket. I heard great people who never were heard from again.

What a time! Then I moved to Woodstock, N.Y.. But that's another story ;-)

annap


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 04:36 PM

Ah, memories!

My first coffeehouse was the Foghorn in Baltimore, late sixties. In the basement of a music store of the same name. Only go there twice (student on a limited budget) but I saw the unforgettable Jesse "Lone Cat" Fuller and the fair Judy Roderick (how can someone that small have such a powerful voice?).

Leap forward to the 80's and it is the Otterbein in Baltimore. In the Sunday school hall of an old church. Nothing special, but a very regular crowd ("where everyone knows your name" kind of place) and good music. Many of the names on the folk circuit passed through and a number of local acts. 'Twas my favorite open mic place for many a year.

It moved and grew and eventually became the Concerts at Mays Chapel. I can't fault it for growing and it brings in "the big names" and some adventuresome picks as well.

I still like the Folkal Point in Columbia, Maryland. Open once a week from September through May. A place for the up and coming artist plus a few old friends. Nice place for 30 people and can hold about 60 at the max.

A number of places where I used to play have closed or don't have music anymore. I am not sure the correlation proves cause and effect in this case.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Leslie
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 04:56 PM

The Golem in Montreal in the Hillel house on Stanley Street in the seventies and eighties...maybe 75 or 80 seats but such great music...the McGarrigles, Jesse Winchester, Stan Rogers, Kate Wolf, Fraser & DeBolt, Tom Paxton, Murray McLauchlan, Nanci Griffith, Mimi Farina, Odetta, Valdy, John Hartford, Humphrey and his Dumptrucks, Penny Lang, Bill Staines, Margaret Christl, Utah Phillips, Rosalie Sorrels, Dave Van Ronk, Eric Anderson, Paul Geremia, Priscilla Herdman...so many more...so many memories.

Leslie


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: John Hindsill
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 04:57 PM

Venice West - Southern California of the "Beatniks"; had ny first espresso theere.
Positano's - High overlooking Malibu; only way up was a woody which shuttled you up in reverse. First time was scary, dark, winding road...no athiests in that woody!
Pandora's Box
Cosmo Alley
The Unicorn
The Ice House, when a folk club
The Troubadour, ditto
The Ash Grove
The Garrett, my personal favorite back then...All long gone.

Today, in Pasadena, the Coffee Gallery and its Backstage, operated by Bob Stane (orignal operator of the Ice House).

John


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: John Hindsill
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 05:59 PM

Actually the Coffee Gallery is in Altadena just above Pasadena...sorry.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Llanfair
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 06:51 PM

What were we Brits doing whilst the Americans were sitting in wonderful coffee houses. Lyons Corner House was not quite the same!!! I suppose we were in the pubs instead. I can remember going into one in Liverpool, where the poets hung out, saw the Scaffold, and Adrian Henri. No coffee. Hwyl, Bron.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: gargoyle
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 07:07 PM

LEJ and annap

The Portable Beat Reader
Edited by Ann Charters
1992, Viking-Penguin Press

pp.xxvii-xxviii

"Shortly after its compostion (Howl) he (Ginsberg) decided to organize a poetry reading on October 13, 1955, at the Six Gallery, a cooperative art gallery in San Francisco"

No guesses....just the facts mame....


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 07:26 PM

to the ever- mysterious Gargoyle, thanks. I've heard that the debut of Howl was one of the great moments in the history of Beat, and indeed 20th century American,Poetry. Jack Kerouac and Neil Cassidy were in the audience along with other luminaries of the 50's counterculture, yelling for Ginsberg "Go! Go!" like he was a sax player on a wild and beautiful improvisation.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 08:16 PM

Vixen, isn't a coffee shop with shanty singing an oxymoron? --seed


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 11:59 PM

A third to Cap'n Bob (how you doing, Bob?) and my dear friend Harpy, on the Ark. No place else like it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Rita64
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 12:10 AM

With all this reminiscing I suddenly feel rather young, uninteresting and ignorant. Anna, I love reading all your stories ... ~FYM~


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 01:10 AM

My Dear Fair Youngmaid,

We were all young, uninteresting, and ignorant. The beauty of those troubled times was in the feeling that we could change the world. We were naieve but enthusiastic. And perhaps then the problems we faced were more clearcut, although the solutions were complex. Never feel that because you are young your thoughts and ideas hold less power. The energy of my younger days is gone, but because there are younger people with that special spark of humanity, I can believe that there is hope to carry on the best traditions of social change. I can continue to fight the good fight on a more personal level and leave the big ones to those with the youthful exuberance that's necessary. Your posts often sound youthful, but never ignorant or uninteresting. The trick in life is not to wind up old, uninteresting, and ignorant.

This thread brings much back to me too. So many wonderful places.....Funny thing, the place that had so much influence on me was a tiny little place called the "Firehouse," 'cause it had been one. Just held one small engine and some sleeping/eating quarters. Geez, I can't even write about it for the memories that flood my mind and the tears that are running down my face. Sorry...later

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: BK
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 01:12 AM

from the 60's: Coffe & Confusion, on Grant, ABOVE chinatown & the famous places of 'Frisco. A near broke young sailor could nurse a hot cider for a loooong time, & the music was great! Loooong gone.

Cafe' Entre Nu, near Albany, & Cafe' Lena in Saratoga Springs; Lena's gone (passed away, & now there is NO SMOKING, thank the maker!) but the institution is still there, much to my surprise & delight! I discovered this on the Mudcat, & visited there last year, when we went back east. It was great! Entre Nu also loooong gone

Those were a few of my favorites, mostly loooong gone! (& I'm too sleepy to remember much else - gotta go)

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 10:23 AM

The Degage' Coffee house in Grand Rapids, Michigan used to be so cool. Just getting into it was a hoot. You walked through between two building that couldn't have been 3' apart. This was no walkway, mind you, you just walked between two buildings. You then hopped down from the top of a 4' retaining wall and went into this back door of a decrepit old building. There were three steps down into this old warehouse room that had tables and peanut shucks scattered everywhere. Great java, simple foods like peanuts and cheese and crackers, a folkie or two always on the stage (cleared out corner of the room with a few lights), and great conversations. I loved this place. It still survives but as a coffee house ministry. The location has probably changed a half a dozen times since the 60's, but that old place was my first exposure to coffee house folk.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: annamill
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 10:45 AM

Sorry Lej. Thank you gargoyle. I was just spouting what my mind put in there. It seemed to remember Howl ,Ginsberg and one of those two places. Next time I'll know my facts.

FYM, I loved living those stories ;-) I'm glad you enjoy them.

love,annap


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Anne
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 09:12 PM

In the present day, my favorite is The Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton Connecticut.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 09:47 PM

I'm a member of The Ark, Ann Arbor, although I don't get there as often as I would like. Great venue. I saw Archie Fisher there. Oddly enough they have some bizarre rule against selling beer to non-members, but it is moot for me either way as I don't drink when I have driving to do. Ann Arbor is also a pleasant little city in which to walk around.

How many Haligonians (Halifax, NS that is) remember Odin's Eye, named after the house cat IIRC? It's long gone now, as no doubt is poor Odin, but it was a friendly little place. But for the most part that city followed the English example, and music was to be heard in the taverns. Ginger's Tavern near the train station was a good little spot. The first place that I heard Cape Breton fiddlers live was at The Split Crow. Various taverns had east coast music, although I must say that when I lived there Halifax had some of the surliest bar staff I've ever encountered. Must have had something to do with all the sailors.

I think that the Yellow Door coffee house in Montreal is still going.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 11:58 PM

For me it was The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, Pa., just outside of Philly. I missed the first wave of the folk revival, but I remember seeing Tom Paxton, John Denver (1969), Steve Goodman (with the Manhattan Transfer as an opening act!), Bryan Bowers, Jonathan Edwards, Tom Rush, Hedge and Donna, James Taylor (1970), Jamie Brockett, John Renbourn...I wish I had saved all those schedules. I remember a powerful singer named Ellen McIlwaine doing a duet with the siren at the firehouse across the street. There's an old Oak publication called the Coffee House Songbook, and the photo on the front is of the interior of the Main Point. I wonder if it's still open.
I also was lucky enough to visit the Troubadour in London in 1978, where I heard Stefan Grossman give a little guitar lesson: "Andres Segovia doesn't play an F-chord this way, with his thumb...that's because he can't."


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Rita64
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 12:37 AM

catspaw49 - I am tempted to begin all my posts with:

"You know friends, back in '67 I heard a song ..."

I am aware that I sound Youth-ful - all that goddamn idealistic Youth oozing out of me and blanketing my postings with its dewy newness!

In relation to this thread topic, the Acoustic Cafe in Newcastle (Helen's land) attracts some brilliant performers (ahem, I sang there once).


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: gargoyle
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 01:16 AM

BK...

It has been stated that Frisco and surounding regions, picked up their peculiar "bend" (as opposed to "straight") orientation, because certain, "broke" "sailors" were "disinfranchised" from the "crew" of their "vessels" when they "arrived" in port and were not pemitted to re-turn aboard.

Good Lord forbid that you get "me wrong" but this does cast a taint upon your "moral perpitude."


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Sourdough
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 03:31 AM

My nominations are La Galette and The Unicorn:

La Galette was a little coffee house in New Haven, CN in the early '60s. It may have been gone for nearly two generations now. It never was very famous and there were no famous people who played there, at least not that I know of. What made it such a special place was that the people were able to appreciate it seemed to have found it. There were always people there playing. The entertainment was whoever wandered in. Of course there were regulars, people you could count on being there whenever you happened in. Everyone was welcome to join in the music with an intrument or voice. There were no "performances", just a kind of community singing. Sure, the regulars sang the same songs over again and there were some people who only knew a couple songs so they played them once a night but that was part of it being what has come to be called a comunity. It was like a small town. Tonight, when I was just playing to myself (better than with) on harmonica and guitar, I remembered some songs I'd learned there and played them, bringing back memories of nice times and nice people. (It's better than photographs.)

Now, the Unicorn was something entirely different. It was a full fledged urban coffee house in Boston. I first went there as a part of a TV crew doing a 1 hour broadcast from there. That was how I met George Papadopulo, the owner. We became friendly and I started hanging out there. The music was extraordinary. Phil Ochs, Buffy St. Marie, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, The Clancy Brothers, the blind Puerto Rican guitarist with such a clear powerful voice and whose name refuses to come forward to be written down, and many more. Giving Buffy St. Marie a ride home on my motorcycle was just one of the perqs.

The best night though was when Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee were playing and the Clancys came in to listen. George closed the place down (so that he could turn it into a private party). He brought out some whisky for which he did not have a public license and we stayed together until early morning, playing and singing. When Sonny Terry, Brownie McGee and the Clancys start playing ensemble, it was a treat!

There was a great bar too, in Boston. It was called Hillbilly Ranch and the decoration was every bit as tacky as you would expect from the name. A variety of rockabilly bands used to play there as featured acts but they had a house band, Bea and Everett Lilly who were called the Lilly Brothers with Don Stover. There was a small corps of people who were willing to risk rockabiliousness if they could at least listen to the Lillys between the featured act's sets. Their traditional music set to somethng akin to bluegrass was always fun and Don Stover was a fine musician who never got the credit he deserved.

The television station where I was working did a weekly music show. One particular week, the Lillys were our guests and I was doing makeup in the sudio.

I never was sure which Lilly was which but I was putting tv makeup on the one who wore his cowboy hat resting on his slightly folded ears so it look as though it on sidemounted cartilidge springs. All of a sudden, I had a realization but when I shared it with the people around me, they didn't seem happy to hear it.

Filled with the enthusiasm of the thought, I called out to everyone in the room, "Do you know what I am doing?"

When my only answer was a confused buzz from people who didn't understand the point of the question, I replied to my own question proudly, "I'm gilding a Lilly".

(Am I still welcome to post here?)

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 10:57 AM

Is that guitarist Jose Feliciano?

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: annamill
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 11:12 AM

Mark Cohen, I heard Ellen McIlwaine sing at The Espresso Cafe in Woodstock, NY. Actually, she lived there for a while. I have two of her albums. She was/is great.

annap


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 02:17 PM

The best one I can come up with is Maxwell House.

Les Cousins in Soho was where I used drink (orrible) coffee and listen to Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, John Martyn and so many others, but the brain has gone and the list is long.

Did the fact that coffee and soft drinks were all that could be purchased and consumed in these place add to the charm of them. I contrast them with the noise of bars and pubs of today.

It is sad that here you could not start a folk club anywhere that did not sell alcohol, as no one would come.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 02:42 PM

Well, I strongly suspect that the grandparent of all folk coffee shops was Jules' (later Cafe Caricature) in Greenwich Village, starting ca 1951. No stage (but a backr room for singing), viennese coffee and overpriced pastries. Who could ask for more?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 03:41 PM

Robert Rodriguez in New York---I just lost my wallet!!! Please send the money I've given you over the years when you said you'd lost yours.

Thanks,

Art

(pardon me folks---I digress.)


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 07:17 PM

I think there is a difference between a folk club and a folk pub. Members would know to keep quiet during the quiet songs.

However, remember the context in which many of these songs were originally sung. Flash girls, the swell mob, the press gang, soldiers, sailors, rakes and gallants ready to slit a nose at the slightest provocation -- all pouring back porter, gin and brandy and probably puffing on cheroots or pipes. If anything the modern pub is pretty subdued.

I have nothing against lively pubs. The music fits the context.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Night Owl
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 01:59 AM

Sourdough....Unicorn, yes...and I had forgotten the Hillbilly Ranch....an adventure to go to....Do you remember a coffehouse called "The Sword and the Stone" in Boston?? As I remember located in a basement on Beacon Hill.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: SOurdough
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 03:05 AM

Roger in Baltimore - Yes, it was Jose Feliciano I was trying to thing of. Thanks for coming up with the name.

Night Owl - The Sword in the Stone, I do remember it. It was on Charles Street near Beacon, at the foot of Beacon Hill. Taj Mahal played there the first time I ever heard of him. I lived about two blocks up the hill from there. The Boston Strangler struck someplace between my apartment and the Sword in the Stone.

I didn't hang out there though. I was more likely to be found in The Sevens or at the Harvard Gardens, (a rather tony name for a definite working class bar. The last brawl I was ever in was there (he says, sentimentally). Occasionally, I would go to the Hampshire House on Beacon Street. They had a bar in the basement which has now become world famous. To paraphrase what they say on that television series it spawned, "most everybody there, at that time, knew my name."

I did like to go over to Cambridge though to the Club 47. There was another club on Mt. Auburn Street, a little closer to Kenmore? Square. I used to play there on open mike nights. Jim Kweskin was the "host". I think this was after one of the people in the jug band, again the name escapes me, left to become a cult leader on Fort Hill. He was thereafter called, The Avatar.

Bill Keith played banjo with the Charles River Valley Boys at that time. They must have been the best educated group in the history of Bluegrass. I think they were all doctoral students at Harvard or Boston University except for Joe Val, the mandolin player who made up in virtuosity what he lacked in scholarship.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: carlzen
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 03:24 AM

Memories.... The Golden Bear, The Troubador, but especially the Ash Grove were great places way back when.....

That was way back when I was growing up, but some of my best experiences were in the early '70s in Copenhagen, DK at a "club" called the Purple Door, run by an expatriate Afro-American, Jo Banks. Lots of local musicians and lots of Europeans from all over came in there. I was fortunate to meet Spider John Koerner there, as well as putting in a lot of mileage on the old Gibson. But some of the best memories are of proprietor Jo doing his sets - always filled with social commentary. My favorite was his spoken version of 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' about prostitution. His son was about 17 years old at the time and one of the best ever guitarists I've heard.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Night Owl
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 04:17 AM

Sourdough...thanks for remembering "Sword and Stone" saw Bonnie Raitt there...I think everyone else I know stayed at Club 47..was beginning to think I had imagined its existence! If my recollection is accurate...Club 47 moved a few times including to Mt. Auburn street...at some point changed its name to Passim's and again moved to its current location in Harvard Square. I am also a Joe Val fan...he was a good man....not lacking in scholarship, just not acquired from book learning! My daughter once told him that his voice hurt her ears. He later told me (after I emerged from hiding under the table) that he always trusted musical revues from young children because of their honesty.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 09:48 AM

Club 47 now & still Passim's is still on Palmer St, an alley way in Harvard Sq. I remember hearing Paul Butterfield & band for my 1st time at the 47 just prior to it's name change. Around the corner from Passim's is the Nameless probably the longest running free coffeehouse in the states. Passim's is more a singer/songerwritter venue now, maybe 1 folk act a month now. I barley remember the Sword & Stone, though the Harvard Gardens is still kicking. Sourdough, were you thinking of the Zercorn (sp?), almost like a singer's club run out of a bar I think held together by Rob Joel. Another spot that's still around but now longer has folk act is the Plough & Stars on Mass Ave. a favorite spot to catch Spider John Koener but some time ago. There was another dive (can't remember the name) over in the South End that died quickly but had some nice folk & blues acts but I'm suprisied I can remember any of this now. Barry


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: SOurdough
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 03:43 AM

BArry Finn:
Sourdough, you hit some kinda world record for the number of duplicate messages posted. Sorry, but I forgot to count them before I began to delete them. But congrats on the record, whatever it was. Looked like about twenty duplicates. Sorry, but we're fresh out of prizes for this month. (grin)
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Sourdough
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 03:49 AM

I have no idea what happened. I wrote "Barry Finn" and the computer became possesed. It started sending off meaningless messages, even more meaningless that my regular ones. I apologise to any of you who had to wade through them to get back to the thread.

Barry, I wasn't thnking of The Zircon. I was thinking of a long narrow coffee shouse on Mt. Auburn right where it passes over the railroad tracks. I think it had a nonsense name and that may be why I can't connect it with anything.

Another name that comes to mind in The Loft, on Charles Street. I don't think it lasted very long. If no one mentioned it, there was also The Golden Vanity where Joan Baez made her reputation but I don't think I ever went there.

There was an awful lot going on in Boston and I just took it for granted thinking that was how things were. We sure got to see a lot of good musicians.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: thosp
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 03:53 AM

well i guess --for that old gang of mine in new york-- it was mostly political discussions (well into the nite) at the horn and hardart cafetierier---- does that count as a coffee house ?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Vixen
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 08:18 AM

Seed--

Shanties in a coffeehouse---what could I have been thinking? Actually, I guess I took liberties of definition with the word "coffeehouse." A coffeehouse, to me, is a public gathering place of informal arrangement, where attention is focused by and on the music presented therein, regardless of the nature of beverages served. The Jolly Beggar's was, by some purist definitions, a waterfront bar, replete with rowdy sailors from both the Mystic Seaport and the Submarine Base, illusionless locals, and dewy tourists. The music, however, was for all, with singalongs, open mics, and actual booked acts, some local, and some big names with a night off between NYC and Boston.

V


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 09:55 AM

V,

I left out all the great Chicago folk clubs because they didn't serve coffee. The NO EXIT was an old beatnik coffeehouse (served unique coffee concoctions in the 50s before anybody else in Chicago) that catered more to race car drivers than anything else before the folk era. It always had chess boards inlaid into the top of every table. It was in to be AWAKE rather than sedated (as with alcohol) even though smokedreams were rampant there too. "Unique" paintings were on the walls. Beatniks were, if nothing else, literary --- as in Kerouac and Ginsberg & MANY other lesser lights. (Check out Ann Charters __THE BEAT READER__ for a good overview. She is/was (whatever) the wife of Sam Charters the blues scholar.)The later hippy thing was tune out & turn on as well as Anti-war and a reaction to a seeming threat of destruction of the largest generation of Americans ever by "old men", who had the power to do that, over the young people. The baby boomers used their sheer numbers to fight back for the first time since the Civil War.

Mick, Is that why unions were busted right and left by people intent on destroying the example set then that showed what collective action can truly accomplish?)

Anyhow, allow me to include, THE EARL OF OLD TOWN, THE QUIET NIGHT, THE GATE OF HORN, BARBAROSSA, SOMEBODY ELSE'S TROUBLES, THE YELLOW UNICORN, RUE, THE COLLEGE OF COMPLEXES, MOMARTRE and, last but not least THE ERECTION which had to change it's name for obvious reasons in 1963 to the ERECTHEON.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Easy Rider
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 09:58 AM

Surprising nobody has mentioned the Gaslight Cafe or the Cafe Au Go Go, in Greenwich Village, in the 60s. I saw Missippi John Hurt there, and Danny Kalb and the Blues Project. I saw an unknown named Richie Havens and a very early Bonnie Raitt and hundreds of others.

There were the Broadside hoots, at the Village Gate, on Sunday afternoons, and so much more. It was wonderful, for a kid just learning about folk music and blues.

Gerdie's was a bar. I was too young, but I saw Sonny Terry and Brownie Mcghee there, when I grew up a little.

The only thing left today is the Bottom Line. I've seen a lot of good performers there recently.

EZR


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Allan C.
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 10:35 AM

Don't remember ever drinking coffee there, but The Cellar Door in Washington, D. C., deserves mention. It was a cramped but cozy place to hear and see folks who were becoming and people who already had become well-known. Others, like me, were happy just to get a chance to get on stage now and again at the Sunday night Hootnanny. Ian and Sylvia had their own mailbox in the alley (which doubled as the backstage area). I missed seeing Bud and Travis play there but I remember seeing Joe and Eddy's performance. They were backed by an excellent bassist named, Buck Wheat. Another D. C. coffeehouse of repute was The Crow's Toe (it featured a stuffed crow suspended from the ceiling by that appendage).


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: o'hanrahan
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 11:42 AM

Also on Charles Street in Boston was the Turks Head Coffehouse. Night Owl:Yes i do remember The Hillbilly Ranch right next to the Trailways bus terminal. Quite a trip to say the least. There ere also free concerts at the Cambridge Common that were lots of fun.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: folk1234
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 01:30 PM

Allan C: Thanks for bringing up the Cellar Door. Back in 1966 we went there to see the Chad Mitchell Trio. Well, Chad was ill, so he was replaced by some weird looking, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and far-to-enthusiastic young guy with big funky glasses who sure sounded strange when he sang. He did a few solos and the other two members of CMT did both solos and duets. When they all sang together as a trio, they were pretty bad. So bad that the CD management gave us our cover charge back. A week later Chad was fine and we enjoyed their great music. Of course by now you know the rest of the story. The weird guy was none other than John Dueschendorff (Denver) who eventually replaced Chad (did a great job, too) and still later had a very impressive career of his own. I GUESS YOU HAVE TO GIVE A FOLK SINGER A CHANCE. FIRST IMPRESSIONS MAY NOT BE THE LAST.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 06:43 PM

I played at the Crow's Toe in D.C. in 1964. It was STRANGE. On the bill was a gold-painted female impersonator named Robin. The Cellar Door was where I saw Dave Van Ronk. First met Joe Hickerson at the Libr. Of Congress that year--his first at the L. Of C. Passed the hat at the Wha in New York & got enough to buy a meal at the automat. Walked all night as hotels cost too much. In the morn went to Staten Island Ferry & rode for .05---shaved in the men's room--gave my 000-18 to a hotdog seller on the boat to hold for me so I could go to Central Park and pretend to be sunbathing while I slept. Then went to the boat again, got my guitar & went to "work". Did that a week and a half I think. (Ah, youth!) Bought a standing room ticket to see Richard Burton do Hamlet. The night of the performance, a guy returned one 3rd row center ticket just as I was passing the box office. I traded my standing room ticket for that one!! After sleeping in the park for a week, I sat there among the tuxedos and the evening gowns and added to the ambiance by providing a rather aromatic aspect to the performance. It was great. Woody would've been proud! In 1964 we could do all that I describe here easily and safely. No problems at all. Kids, I'm not making this up. On the way back to Chicago I went to Nashville and hung around Hank Snow's shows at the Opry and then at some county fairs in the Midwest. 'Twas a fine summer. Not all on coffeehouses, but this entry DID stasrt with the coffeehouse called the Crow's Toe in D.C.

But I digressed a bit...

Art


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 11:01 PM

A bit of thread creep, but I must answer the Rev. Mr. Thieme.

You are right on the mark, bro. Big Capital has done everything they can to destroy the notion that protected concerted activity by workers is a good thing. They continue to wage a perceptual battle for the hearts and minds of the young ones. There is a whole crop of new labor singers out there that are working in and around the campuses that are writing some pretty good labor music that attempts to counteract some of the half truths and misconceptions being spread by those whose agenda it is to convince people that workers don't need the power of collective bargaining. The stakes, for working families, are huge.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 11:24 PM

I woudn't rate it with The Buddhi and the Sword and Stone (both in Oklahoma City, as mentioned above), but there was a place in Cleveland, Ohio in the late '60s called La Cave where I saw Josh White, Terry & McGhee, Jesse Colin Young and a lot of others. Like the rest, it's gone.

There was also a lot of folkie action in the Hamilton-Toronto (Ontario) area in the early '70s at places called (respectively) Campbell's Coffee House and Fiddler's Green. The former had a good stable of local talent and brought in such acts as Leon Redbone, Dave Essig, Willie P. Bennett and a host of others -- mostly Canadians. Fiddler's Green, whose mainstays were also responsible for a lot of what went into the Mariposa Folk Festival, used to get great acts from out of town to augment its regulars.

Unfortunately, most of those great venues are gone now and many of the ones left are -- I don't want to rehash what's in another thread, so this is just in passing, OK? *grin* -- taken over by the singer/songwriters, most of whom can do neither.

ddw


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Curtis & Loretta
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 11:34 PM

In Minneapolis, there were the Coffeehouse Extempore, and New Riverside Cafe, both gone now. Actually, the "Riv" survived, owned and run by a collective, until just a couple years ago.

Loretta S


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Divine Wilygoatess (inactive)
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 03:20 PM

The Quadrant in Easton, PA

Anylise's Hava Java in Allentown, PA

Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem, PA (not really a proper coffee house, kind of a byob place, but they do have coffee and books and music)

Deja Brew in Bethelehem, PA

~Miss V


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 08:21 PM

I just realized fairly recently where the name Godfrey Daniels came from. I was watching a W.C. Fields short movie and every time he wanted to utter s curse, something that would be taken for swearing, he'd say, "GODFREY DANIELS" !!! It was great to "finally know" .

Art


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 08 Jul 99 - 12:15 AM

Alice...re-read this and saw your post about Idaho Spgs. Call me at 303-838-6533 when you get to town, ask for EJ.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Sourdough
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 01:26 AM

I was talking to a friend today and telling him the glories of Mudcat na dof this thread in particular. He started reminiscing about 1950s(!) coffee houses in Boston. He was a waiter in one in the late fifties while in high school. He asked if anyone had mentioned it. Not only hadn't anyone mentioned it, I had never heard of it. It was near Boston University and was called The Salamander. It took its name from its location. It was in a basement under a bar called The Rock. Cute?

He remembers Joan Baez singing there while she was a college studet, a couple of years before her "early" appearances at The Golden Vanity and yhe Club 47. According to my friend, she made $10/night. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: don in oshawa
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 10:51 AM

Toronto's "THE RIVERBOAT" just has to get a mention...the key site of Toronto's Yorkville scene and sound... early days... the young Gordon Lightfoot.. visiting Yankees.. dylan, baez Terry and McGee, and then a second generation... Neil, just after Buffalo Springfield, Joni.. as a solo.. Having missed the first generation.. i was pleased to visit more regularly near the end... Fraser and Debolt.. Brent Titcomb.. Nancy Simmonds..... Did Leonard Cohen ever play the Riverboat? i dunno?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: bbelle
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 02:08 PM

folk1234: We must have been at the Cellar Door the same night in 1966! My aunt and uncle took me there to celebrate my 18th birthday to see the Chad Mitchell Trio, although ... you know the rest! A comedienne named Donna Jean Young opened for them ... she was very funny ... wonder whatever happened to her. Saw Ian & Sylvia there and was in attendance when John Denver and Fat City recorded "Country Roads." Took advantage of many of their Open Mike Sundays. There was a coffeehouse called "The Agape" located in a Lutheran church, where I spent almost every Saturday night in the early '70's. None of the performers were known, but there was a wealth of talent in that little room ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 06:29 PM

1) Glad somebody mentioned Godfrey Daniels. Dave Fry has been running the place for as long as I have lived in the area and never gives up. 2) Much of what I know about the coffeehouse scene in Boston i8n the 60s comes from a book "Baby let me follow you down" by Jim Rooney and Eric Von Schmidt. What a wonderful book! Everybody's reminiscences. Of course, it's out of print. 3) A friend of mine has bought a church in New Hope PA; the congregation is leaving for a bigger home with good parking in about three months, and she intends, after an appropriate deconsecration ceremony, to re-dedicate it as a coffeehouse. 3a) Can anybody think of a good name? 3b) what would be appropriate in a RE-consecration ceremony? My own preference would be to sing as many verses of Old Time Religion as possible (see other ongoing thread) to make sure that Nobody is left out.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 11:11 PM

3a) Alice's Restaurant? Or is that too obvious?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 02:10 AM

Let's see - Church/ coffee house = Holy Joe's ?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Sourdough
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 02:23 AM

Let's see, how about

Pews Are Us

or

Altar Ego ?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Pete Curry
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 01:10 PM

In the late '50s and early'60s, Philadelphia had a thriving folk music scene centered around The Gilded Cage at 261 S. 21st (owned by Ed Halpern) and the Second Fret at 1902 Sansom St. (owned by Manny Rubin). The "Fret" was more like a night club and it was there that I first saw Dave Van Ronk, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, the Kentucky Colonels (with Clarence & Roland White), Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee (who recorded a live album there­in the cover photo, the back of my head is clearly visible right in front of the stage), Reverand Gary Davis, Tom Rush, Mississippi John Hurt, Joni Mitchell, The Dillards, etc. The "Cage" was Philadelphia's oldest coffeehouse and hosted round-robins every Sunday afternoon featuring such luminaries as Roger Abrams, Dick Weissman (pre-The Journeymen), Tossi Aaron, Linda LaBov, Billy Vanaver, Mike Miller, blues guitar great Jerry Ricks (now Mississippi Jerry Ricks) and Arlo Guthrie's late accompaniest, John Pila. Those were the days!


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: annamill
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 01:14 PM

I don't understand? It obvious to me. What is more appropriate for a re-consecration name than "NEW HOPE" COFFEEHOUSE.

Love, annap


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 28 Jul 99 - 11:45 AM

Oh, yes, the Kardomah in Corporation St , B'ham, the National Milk Bar in Aberystwyth, where did my youth go? [and did he take my wallet?]


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Penny S.
Date: 28 Jul 99 - 12:33 PM

We had Elizabeth's Coffee Bar in Dover. No live music, but a crowd of young people around a table in a carrel after church on Sunday evening, talking about anything and everything, the whole evening on one coffee in one of those shallow glass cups, or an ice cream float in summer. (Does anyone know if it is true about aspirin in Coca Cola?). Then it turned fast food, and uncomfortable chairs, and out as quick as you can. They don't make places like that any more. Not over here, at any rate.

Penny

Have you noticed Pete M isn't back yet?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Mike Strobel
Date: 28 Jul 99 - 01:36 PM

Today, in Rochester, New York it is : 12 Corners Coffeehouse ( Though it is much more like a concert hall), Blue Sundays Coffeehouse, Java Junction , Weider Hall Art Gallery........................Now in the early seventies in Buffalo there were ( still are ) 2 taverns which featured a lot of folk music : The Central Park Grill and The Tralfamadore Cafe.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Sourdough
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 12:55 PM

Joe Offer,

On behalf of everyone who reads this thread, thank you for removing the duplicate messages. (It was very embarrassing). I have no idea what happened.

Sourdough Current holder of the Duplicate Postings Championship

Sourdough Current holder of the Duplicate Postings Championship


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Mudjack
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 04:57 PM

Starbucks, OHhh... It has to be a "Coffee House" I tend to call a lot of venues coffee house but more correctly it should be Acoustic Music Venue. A bar converted from the old stables it was at the University of California Riverside with it's "Folk Concerts at the Barn" Sunday nights. Who's who of folk music has performed there. The good folks who produced the concerts are very dear friends of mine and I have a life time of graditude to them for their efforts. They stopped the series about 18 months ago due to the UCR demanding more rent money and constantly adding more restrictions as time went on. I know Sandy has been there, thats where I met him many years back. It had a bar atmoshere but emphasis were on the music and a very quiet setting. I remember how depressed I became when I decided to leave the area and suddenly it donned on me what I might not be able to replace in my life, will there be another Barn? I hav'nt found it yet.
My other folkie hang out was "The Starvation Cafe". Patrick managed to serve up some poor man's soup and coffee. Very Bohemian for the 80's and 90's. Avante Garde was the theme but bluegrass and folk would intertwine the programs.
Just as I got interested in performing music,The Penny U in San Bernardino CA was closing it's doors. That was a real BUZZ and hooked me on the "live music" scene. It was thr predesessor to the above clubs.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 02:04 AM

The Walt Robertson thread brought this one back to mind. Bongos, goatees, berets, poetry and the atmosphere of infinite possibilities....


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Lonesome Gillette
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 06:15 AM

Bannon's Spa in Haverhill MA. been there at least 30 years, likely much more. No live music there, just coffee and donuts and some raunchy characters. I spent a good part of my childhood in there, my dad's hangout. He wouldn't be caught dead near any of those hippy joints. eric


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: RichM
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 09:36 AM

In Ottawa (Canada) Rasputin's Café on Bronson Avenue has been the home of folk music here for the last 20 years.

The owner, Dean Verger, has been instrumental ;) in bringing hundreds of acts, local, national and international to the community.
There's a full list of performers who have appeared, at the café's website:
http://www.cyberus.ca/~rasputin/

I am proud to be among this group; yours truly was once part of a local bluegrass group called "Toy Heart"...

Rich


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 10:53 AM

In and around Chicago in the early 70's, there was an odd combination of bars/coffee houses that I got started in; these were the "folk clubs" that you just don't seem to find around anymore. I was too young for places like the Gate O Horn. The Barbarossa, the Saddle Club, Orphans, Minstrels, the Bulls all had local musicians and gave newcomers a chance. The Quiet Knight had the very best national and international acts, as well as local artists who had proven themselves. The Earl of Old Town, where I went to hear Bob Gibson and was introduced to a "new kid in town" who sang his latest song "City of New Orleans. Within a month everyone was singing Steve Goodman songs.

Two places that were truly unique were the Ranch in downtown Chicago and Durty Nellies in suburban Palatine. The Ranch ran music from 7:00 until 4:00 AM. They had a "Sons of the Pioneers" style western band playing forty minute sets and usually someone with an acoustic playing the twenty minute breaks. I got to do the breaks for a short time and it was like going to country music grad school. The regular band (The Sundowners)played there six nights a week for thirty years. They were a full volume set of the encyclopedia of country music, and with forty minutes between sets, you did nothing but eat the chili, listen and learn. This place was in the basement of an office building right by the Greyhound bus station and got a weird mix of business men, "ladies" and sailors coming in or going out of Great Lakes Naval Training Center. The first time I sang "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and the dance floor filled up, I knew I had to be doing something right.

There are still a few of the old coffeehouses around the Chicago area. No Exit is still running. The Two Way Street Coffeehouse in Downers Grove just celebrated 30 years and is going strong. I get to play a night there March 30th and I'm thrilled.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Gray Rooster
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 11:51 AM

And, back to the Village, let us not forget: Café Basement and Figero's.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Lonesome Gillette
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 11:52 AM

When I moved to Tucson from Boston in the late 80's (Im back in Boston) I found no coffee house type venues, a few came and went but nothing much. But there is still a strong folk scene there. I wound up going to lots of music party things that wouldn't be jam sessions but would have someone do a solo set, then a band might play, whatever... it was real cool, I've never seen that around here in Boston, but I think it might happen, I just don't know about it. I remember playing with my folk band in some backyard in the desert and the place would be just packed, granted they were there to drink beer mostly but if that same band was in Boston we'd have a tough time to get any gigs. What's my point? I don't know.hehe


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Lonesome Gillette
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 11:56 AM

When I moved to Tucson from Boston in the late 80's (Im back in Boston) I found no coffee house type venues, a few came and went but nothing much. But there is still a strong folk scene there. I wound up going to lots of music party things that wouldn't be jam sessions but would have someone do a solo set, then a band might play, whatever... it was real cool, I've never seen that around here in Boston, but I think it might happen, I just don't know about it. I remember playing with my folk band in some backyard in the desert and the place would be just packed, granted they were there to drink beer mostly but if that same band was in Boston we'd have a tough time to get any gigs. What's my point? I don't know.hehe

Oh, "The Hillbilly Ranch" mentioned earlier sounds excellent. I live right near that site, I can't imagine anything like that happening around this area now. Bluegrass in downtown Boston? HA!


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Gray Rooster
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 12:09 PM

And in Dallas, TX:

(THEN) Moon Alley

The Rubyiat (perhaps spelled Rabayat or Rubyait) but definitely after Omar

Mother Blues (gasp!!!) Yes in the back bar at "her" first location

(NOW) Uncle Calvin's (listening)

Cafe Brazil (Central Expy. location)

Sons of Hermann Hall (old fashioned in the round on Thursday nights, sometimes three rooms going at once)

Houston, TX (NOW) Anderson Fair (the oldest continuously operated music venue in Texas)

Galveston, TX (NOW) The Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe

Ft. Worth, TX (NOW) Trinity Coffee House

Flower Mound, TX (NOW) Coffee Klatch

Mmm, I better stop. Fingers want to play guitar now.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 12:46 PM

We had a thread here a while ago about the "last days" of The NO EXIT coffee house in Chi. THOSE DIDM'T HAPPEN. The place was saved when Brian and Sue Kozin were able to sell it to Michhael James, the owner of The Heartland Cafe only half a block away. "The Exit" is now cleaner and painted white. Some music is back. The brown burlap is gone from the walls. The smoke it less. The graffitti is pretty much gone from the bathroom walls. Blind Jim Brewer, who sang his Mississippi acoustic blues Wednesday nights for so long, has passed on. I played at the place for 37 years and then couldn't any longer. (For some perverse reason I was hoping to make 40 years.)

Recently I went by there and the place looks nice. But the ghost of Kerouac has left as far as I could see. I do suspect that is as it should be in this new millennium.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: BlueJay
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 01:01 PM

So, LEJ, that makes two old haunts we have in common: Muddy's and the Little Bear. I'm pretty sure Muddy's went by the wayside, but you never know, maybe it was resurrected. Sure was a great place, with all the books, games, talented folks, and food. Thanks for the memory jog. BlueJay


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Sourdough
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 04:55 AM

I think the archtype of Beat coffee houses was the Cafe Figaro in Greenwich Village. It reminded me of a bit of literature trivia.

There was no live music at the Figaro. Maybe that's whythere were always tables filled with people talking earnestly about life, art, ethics, and theology.

While I was a college student, I workd at a place called the Living Theatre up on the corner of SIxth Avenue and Fourteenth Street but I lived in the VIllage. Through an odd working out of coincidence, I was working with Judith Malina and Julian Beck in a play that was an off-Broadway hit and very highly regarded in the Village. When I joined the company, the play had already been running for several yeas. The Living Theatre was one of the central nodes of what was called the hip scene in New York at that time. Just having a job there transformed me, at least in my own mind, into a real Villager. Hell, I even had a nodding acquintance with Jules Feiffer and went out twice with a waitress from the Figaro.

We'd finish up at the Living Theatre around eleven and then we would head out for a place to talk, drink, meet friends and make new ones - all while remaining cool.

One of my favorite place was the Cafe Figaro on the fabled corner of Bleeker and McDougal. There was always the possibility of incredible conversations. The effect of sitting and listening to Paul Goodman, Alan Ginsburg, Maya Deren, a lot of abstract expressionist painters, Martha Graham dancers and uncounted writers was not lost on this eighteen or nineteen year old New Hampshire boy.

The mention of graffiti and The Figaro in an earlier mesage reminded me of somethng I saw in Figaro in the late '50s. By the pay phone on the wall someone had scrawled "It's better to have flunked your Wasserman than never to have loved at all." For those of you to whom the words "Wasserman Test" mean nothing, you should know that it was the syphlis test of that time.

In the context of the period it was funny and was far more memorable than another graffito scrawled in the same hand just below it. It asked a question that would in a few years become a household word, "Who's afraid of Virginia Wolf?"

I can't say from first hand knowledge that Edward Albee first saw the phrase there and decided to use it as the title of a play je was writing. He had already written The Sandbox and Zoo Story which were, I think, one-acts and was writing every day. His roommate at the time was Paul Goodman so I know that Albee used to spend time at the Figaro and if he ever used the phone he would have seen it for sure.

Even though the play and then the movie, Whose Afraid of Virginia WOlf gererated tremendous interest, I have never seen I have never ever seen a mention of that graffito. Remember, you heard about it first on Mudcat.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 08:57 AM

Hadn't realised how predominently American the coffee house has become since its heydey in 17th/18th century London. Fraid I've only skimmed this entertaining thread, but are The Shambles, Roger the Zimmer and Penny the only posters to take the discussion beyond America's boundaries?

I remember seeing those same people at that same venue Shambles. I also saw some of them - and Ralph McTell,Tim and Maddy Prior and Martin Carthy - at a nearby place just beyond Soho, called Bunjies - another alcohol-free zone I seem to remember, unless I was always there at the wrong time of day.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Gray Rooster
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 11:53 AM

Sourdough (and all), when I was going to Figaro's, there was live music. Not paid or set up in advance. Just happened. They were pretty tolerant. And yes, it was full of artistic intent and delivery.

I can't remember the man's name (Charles?) who managed the place at that time, but he was black and a friend of my brother's. He had part of his finger missing (Air Force accident I think). He introduced me to a chess player or two and I won and lost while playing songs like Down and Out, Deliah's Gone and St. James Infirmary among others. At times, other voices and guitars would chime in from various locations throughout the place. Very impromptu. A poet would rant or growl. Wine would appear on the table. A flute would haunt the air. Classic combustion. I miss it.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 12:09 PM

I can recall when London had the Troubadour, Bunjie's, The Witches Cauldron, and more. Manchester had The Left-Wing, Exeter had The Left Bank(in Paris Street)Nottingham had Jules et Jim, and there was a folk coffeebar in Liverpool but I can't remember it's name.These all go back to the late 50's, early 60's. In America I've sung at Focus2, The Chelsea House,Godfrey Daniel's, Main Point, 8th Step, Cafe Lena, and had a ball in all of them. Never made it to The Ark, which I'm sad about given it's reputation. Is it still going? I musn't miss out the Fiddler's Green, Toronto. That was great. Burl


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 12:13 PM

I think I'm gonna find that old "Demise of The No Exit Coffeehouse" thread and resurrect it just to keep it closer to this good thread.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 12:16 PM

I can recall when London had the Troubadour, Bunjie's, The Witches Cauldron, and more. Manchester had The Left-Wing, Exeter had The Left Bank(in Paris Street)Nottingham had Jules et Jim, and there was a folk coffeebar in Liverpool but I can't remember it's name.These all go back to the late 50's, early 60's. In America I've sung at Focus2, The Chelsea House,Godfrey Daniel's, Main Point, 8th Step, Cafe Lena, and had a ball in all of them. Never made it to The Ark, which I'm sad about given it's reputation. Is it still going? I musn't miss out the Fiddler's Green, Toronto. That was great. Burl


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 12:46 PM

Hi Art - ref 'Godfrey Daniels' as a euphemistis swear word. In England we say 'Gordon Bennett' for the same purpose. Said with enough vehemence it really works. Ref old coffee houses, wasn't there one once, somewhere in Canada, called The Bohemian Embassy. Great name.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: wdyat12
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 05:22 PM

The Club 47 in Cambridge during the sixties was my favorite haunt. Sometimes I was lucky enough to sit up front. I remember one night Tom Rush was thumping out tunes from his "Blues, Songs, and Ballads" repertoire when all of a sudden one of his fingerpicks flew off and landed in my lap. I jumped up and gave him his fingerpick back, he nodded, and kept on playing without missing a beat. I'll never forget that night.

wdyat12


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 08:03 PM

burl didn't mention The Partisan in Soho, which was a great folk place (and movement place generally) at one time in the early 60s. Martin Winsor, Redd Sullivan, John Baldry, and others. They used to take advantage of the fact that a lot of the public transport stopped early (and still does) to have all nighter folk-sessions lasting in the cellar, lasting until the bleary dawn. Great place to spend the night.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 01:08 PM

Correct McGrath, I'd forgotten that one. I'm trying to remember the name of another London place that had parrots in the window. Joan & Rena Swankie used to sing there. Any ideas? There was a bloke called Curley used to run some late-nighters in London Too, any ideas on that?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Deckman
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 08:58 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 12:17 PM

I'm surprised that no one from Seattle has jumped on this yet. Starting in the mid 1950's we had a slew of wonderful coffee houses that were very folk music friendly. The most famous of all was of course,"The Pamir House" or "P" house as we called it. John Timmins started it. In fact, just few years we had a 30 (I believe) re-union. JOhn showed up, as well as a host of the famous performers from the early days: Don Firth, Nancy Quense, Mike Leib, Walt Robertson, and many more. Other great coffee houses were: The Place Next Door, The Corraberie (sp?), The Door, The Matador.

Also, today in Yakima, "Grants Pub" is very friendlt to live performers. CHEERS, Bob Nelson


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Hollowfox
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 03:01 PM

Besides the Caffe Lena, the Capitol District (that's anywhere within about 50 miles of Albany, NY), let's not forget the 8th Step (which is in it's second location, and has never had eight steps in it, anywhere), and Mother's Wine Emporium across the Hudson River in Troy, New York.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Blind desert Pete
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 02:05 PM

Art or Bart: Do either if you remember a Chi coffee house called the 5th peg? FullertonAve? my memory of those days is real shakey.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 02:29 PM

Pete,

THE FIFTH PEG was a bar on Armitage---a block down and across the street from the Old Town School Of Folk Music (909 W. Armitage). Aside from being the place I got tossed out of for decking a drunk who was coming on to my wife when she was 8 months pregnant (all I did was push him and he went down--really) this folk club was the place where JOHN PRINE did his first good gigs that led to him & Steve Goodman being found by Paul Anka. Kris Kristofferson brought Anka in to hear them I think.

But the Fifth Peg was a hangout/wateringhole for the students from the school. That was a unique and a strange era. (1970 ??)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 02:39 PM

Of course, Stevie Goodman's base was Earl Pionke's Chicago folk mecca the Earl Of Old Town. Steve said that when Mr. Kristofferson brought Paul Anka in to hear him at the Earl, he (Steve) took 'em all to the Fifth Peg to hear John Prine. Anka gave both air tickets to New York that night. Somehow, Samantha Eggar was a part of the entourage---and they all went to breakfast after the club closed at 4:00 AM. (5:00 AM was closing time on Saturday nights).

Art


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Guest, NYC
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 06:24 PM

Gray Rooster: are you Rene Lawrence??? My God, if you are, I sure am glad I decided to look at the Mudcat. Do you still do Transcontinental Breakdown? I can't get that tune out of my mind after all these years. I've tried to play it, but even my nimble fingers can't. What year was it? 1959? Please respond. You were the best guitarist I'd ever heard. And what, you were 9 or 10?


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Subject: RE: FEENJON
From: GUEST,JOANN FROM BOSTON
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 10:36 AM

HI. I CAME ACROSS YOUR SITE SEARCHING FOR INFO ON FEENJON CAFE IN THE 60'S. MY SISTER WORKED AT FEENJON IN THE EARLY 60'S. HER NAME IS ANN MARIE AND SHE LOOKED JUST LIKE JOAN BAEZ. SHE CAME FROM THE BOSTON AND CAMBRIDGE AREA. MY SISTER HAD LONG DARK BROWN HAIR AND VERY PRETTY AND SORT OF TALL. DO YOU REMEMBER HER??   MY E-MAIL IS Jio12@aol.com.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Amos
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 12:36 PM

A vote of thanks to the Guest above for refreshing one of the wonderful threads of all Mudcat time. Wish I had an answer for Jio12, but I do not. Perhaps someone from the Boston region in the 60's can answer.



A


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 01:20 PM

What a delightful thread! It brings back so many good memories of places I heard wonderful musicians, and sometime had a chance to perform, myself. In the Village, my favorite coffee house was the Gaslight Cafe, where Dave Van Ronk ran a Monday night hootenanny. Easy Rider.. I was there two or three nights when Mississippi John Hurt sang at the Gaslight. Was that you sitting over at a corner table?

And annamill.. we must surely have crossed paths in villatge coffee houses. I spent much of my free time there from 1960-064. If you waited on me, I hope I tipped you liberally.

My favorite New Haven coffee house, vixen, was the Pickin' Parlor, where I heard Elizabeth Cotton one glorious evening.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 10 Sep 04 - 10:31 PM

It's hard to believe but enough time has passed since this thread started for a kid to start and graduate from college. I only hope that they were able to find coffeehouses in which to hang out, study, sleep, find love and comaraderie and then give those commodities back. Like Desert Pete said, "You've got to prime the pump!"

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,EMPTY MIND BUDDHIST, SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 01:32 AM

"THE EXIT" COFFEEHOUSE IN THE FORMER GASLIGHT SQUARE IN SAINT LOUIS RAN ITS RUN FROM THE MID TO LATE 1960S.
BY 1968, IT HAD CLOSED, ALONG WITH THE REST OF THE "SQUARE"; LOCATED AT THE INTERSECTION OF BOYLE AND OLIVE.
IT WAS CHARACTERISTICALLY SAINT LOUIS; THAT IS , IT DID NOT LAST LONG AS IT IS TYPICALLY THE SAINT LOUIS THING TO DO.

BUT FOR THOSE OF US WHO WERE FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN THERE, IT WAS THE WONDERFUL YEARS OF OUR LIVES. NOSTALGIA IS A PAINFUL EMOTION. A KIND OF THE "WAY WE WERE" AND WE CAN NEVER GO BACK TO THE HOT SUMMER NIGHTS WHEN GASLIGHT SQUARE WAS THE FOCUS OF OUR EXPERIENCE.
TODAY, THE ENTIRE COLLECTION OF BUILDINGS IS GONE AND REPLACED BY A HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CALLING ITSELF GASLIGHT SQUARE, BUT IT IS NOT.
IT IS AS IF IT NEVER WAS THERE AND IT NEVER HAPPENED;
WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT TODAY.
-PATRICK GENNA, 18 DECEMBER 2004, SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: robomatic
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 02:04 AM

When I first visited it in the 80's, the Sourdough off the Spit in Homer, Alaska. You could nurse a cup and do the crossword in one of the most scenic spots on earth.

In downtown Anchorage, Sidestreet Espresso on F, a block down from Darwin's Theory.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: 14fret
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 04:14 PM

Hi everyone,
Hope you don't mind an englishman contributing?
I only managed to play in places on the eastern seaboard.
Venues such as Dallas Kline's places in Connecticutt and New Caanan (I know, also Conn.), Caffe Lena
(3 times), The Chelsea House, Vermont, The Cherry Trees, Philly and on to the Gene Shay show, courtesy of my friend Saul Broudy, Bob ?'s music shop in Norfolk, VA, another near Lake Peekskill plus some bars etc; and festivals. Also a freebie in the Citicorp building in NYC! Through the courtesy of Paula Ballon. It was nearly 100% great. Generous hospitality, warm welcomes and great audiences.
I'd love to do it again? Who do I have to bribe?

I know things change but I hope that 'scene' hasn't, much. (?)
I'll never forget the people and places.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: dianavan
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 09:37 PM

Does anyone remember the Last Exit in Seattle (mid-60's). They served coffee, hot chocolate and apple pie. Great music and poetry.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Peace
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 10:20 PM

The Yellow Door in Montreal.

The Golem in Montreal.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Peace
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 12:33 AM

(The Golem is no longer in operation--I think.) It was the brain child of Mike Regenstrief who hosts and provides Folk Roots/Folk Branches, CKUT Radio, Montreal. Great guy and dedicated folk supporter--and deep well of knowledge about folk.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: jaze
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 11:37 AM

The Main Point outside Phila. was a great place. I only got there twice to see Tim Buckley and Murray McLaughlin.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 01:11 PM

Yeah, dianavan, I remember the Last Exit. Down on Brooklyn Avenue, just south of East 40th Street.

Were you around Pamir House, the Queequeg, or the Eigerwand over on the Ave? I sang a lot at both Pamir House and the Queequeg a lot between '61 and '65. Maybe we've actually run into each other.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: dianavan
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 01:26 PM

We probably have run into each other. Remember me? I'm the skinny one with the long, dark hair, long legs and a big smile. ;>) Oh yes, times have changed!   

Yes, I remember the Pamir House but I don't remember the Quequeg. Oddly enough, our boat was named Quequeg. Do you remember the hootenanys at the fountain?

I left Seattle in 1969 and went to Europe. When I returned, I moved to Vashon Island and then on to B.C. Do you still live in Seattle?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: kendall
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 02:22 PM

The Side Door in Brunswick Maine.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 03:13 PM

Do you mean the Seattle Center Hootenannies at the Seattle Center in 1963? Not far from the big fountain. Some held in front of the Horiuchi mural, some in Center House. Before that, during the Seattle World's Fair in '62, Sunday afternoon multi-performer concerts at the United Nations Pavilion. Small fountain in the pavilion. I bellowed me li'l lungs out at both places.

". . . long, dark hair, long legs and a big smile." Hmm!!   

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 03:17 PM

By the way, I have a low voice (bass), played a classic (nylon-string) guitar, and walked with a pair of aluminum forearm crutches. Probably not easy to miss in a crowd.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: dianavan
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 08:59 PM

Probably didn't miss you but do not remember you. BTW I my hair is no longer brown. Its sort of brownish with silver streaks and red highlights. I'm also not as smiley as I was as a young woman. Those sure were fun times. I remember the International Fountain and the Horiuchi mural. Yes, the United Nations Pavillion was a treat... but mostly I remember the hot chocolate at the Last Exit.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 02:24 PM

Anybody remember The Shades Coffe House in Reading - round about 1965. The residents were Mike Cooper and Derek Hall. mike played a National Steel and Derek, a Martin. Mike tours de force were leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell's Blues at Sunrise and Dinks Song. Derek could play all the stuff off the Bert jansch Blue album - or so it seemed to me.

I know Mike is a photographer for Folk Roots, but I've never seen Derek since. I moved away from Reading not long after. It was my first experience of a folk club. And it was bloody exciting!

thanks guys wherever you are.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,janet yacht
Date: 24 Nov 05 - 01:17 PM

The Figaro in 1957, Rienzi's, NYC, you could sit there till 4AM playing chess and drinking a lousy cup of tastless coffee, but no one would ask you to leave.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 10:42 AM

...and Chicago's No Exit is still going now (even if not exactly going strong) in November of 2005 and they have wonderful small venue productions of larger shows like "Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris". Current owner David James of THE HEARTLAND CAFE (right down the street) ought to be heartily commended for keeping the venerable old place alive.

Our son, Chris, lives very close to the No Exit now---and he hangs out there and at the Heartland Cafe. What goes around, comes around !! ------ As a baby, we used to carry him into the place on Thursday nights for my regular gigs there in the 1970s.

Art


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Padre
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 10:55 PM

In the 60's, when I was a grad student at WVU, there was a coffehouse called 'The Last Resort' run by one of the campus church groups. If you sang (Fri and Sat only) you got a hamburger and a coke for each set. No big names, but a lot of fun (and it was a cheap date!)

Padre


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Joybell
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 11:45 PM

Long shot and I notice that the original request is a year old but Hildebrand knew a girl who was often taken for Joan Baez back in the 60s. It was in Boston. She made a point of letting people believe she was Joan. He thinks that the name's the same. There's a bit more but it won't help.
In answer to the original question - Yes, he thinks he did. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Deckman
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 12:27 AM

Dianavan ... of course I remember you ... at the LAST EXIT ... it's walls were always painted flat black ... cheap paint. You always sat close to the kitchen and just around the side from the chess table!

What timess ... EH???
CHEERS Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: JJ
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 08:59 AM

Padre

I, too, remember the Last Resort in Morgantown. I spent a lot of time in that basement, 65-68, some listening to the folk music, but more working on the theatre they occasionally produced, IRMA LA DOUCE, USA and several revues directed by Jim Conaway.

Jim Vellenoweth ran the place, under the auspices of the Methodist Church. Performers I remember include Jim Bob Kessinger and Charlie Quarto, the mad poet, who later cut two LPs and wrote a number of country songs.

Alas, it is no more, and a restaurant called Joyce's now occupies the site on Spruce Street where so many were made so happy for so little so long ago...

JJ


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Padre
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 10:02 PM

JJ,

Charlie Quarto - I had forgotten him - truly a mad man!!

My mother still lives in Morgantown, so next time I am up there I will drive slowly up Spruce street and tip my hat.

Do you remember a really tall guy named John Swalm, who used to sing at the LR?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: JJ
Date: 27 Nov 05 - 09:21 AM

Good heavens, Padre, John Swalm!

He taught me a few banjo chords so that I could play "Down in the Valley" and "Just a Picture From Life's Other Side" in the WVU production of DARK OF THE MOON in the fall of 1965. I haven't touched a banjo since.

John and David Hardin played the guitars in that show, if I recall correctly. David also played at the Resort.

I have both of Charlie Quarto's recordings, bought on eBay. Also a story about him in Rolling Stone. A longtime friend of mine almost got involved with him back then; I bought them as a teasing memory for her.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,sheridan805
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 02:51 PM

I am trying to remember the Beatnik type coffee house that was quite well known in the early 60's in what is now West Hollywood, CA.

It was on the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Willoughby St.

Does anyone out there know the name of this?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 12:13 PM

I don't know how I missed this wonderful thread before!   I love hearing stories about these legendary venues!

I "came of age" a bit later than most of the posters here, and for me the real "coffeehouses" had all but vanished. The clubs that I remember in NYC were the Bottom Line and most notably - Speak Easy.   The Speak Easy was THE place for music in the mid-80's.

By the 1980's, at least here in NJ, folk music was settling into church basements and organized "clubs" that presented the music. The Hurdy-Gurdy(which is now int he 27th season and I am the new president of) was one of the first that I attended. The grandaddy of them all in NJ is the Minstrel Coffeehouse run by the Folk Project.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 12:38 PM

The Purple Onion, where my group and I once performed, and The Hungry I (Bruno Banducci's salute to the hungry intellectual), which were originally "Beat" oriented venues of the fifties, became major launching pads for such as the Kingston Trio, The Limeliters, The Smothers Brothers, Mort Sahl and many others. They were never, strictly speaking, coffee houses, but they served the same purpose.

Others I remember were the Pamir House, in Seattle, The End, in Tacoma (a regular stop for me in my army days in '61 and '62), The Renaissance, in Fresno, where I cut my musical teeth with a cadre of other young folk, the Orange Ogre, "Gussie" Gostanian's alternative coffee house in Fresno, catering more to the avant garde crowd, and several in southern California whose names have vanished along with the venues - with the exception of the Prison of Socrates and the Ash Grove.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: frogprince
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 08:45 PM

I spent some good liberty (from Navy duty) weekend hours at the Coffee and Confusion in San Francisco in late 1967. That was my first exposure to the coffee house concept. I later lived for several years within a couple of blocks of the No Exit in Chicago, and totalled up a lot of hours there.
Believe it or not, the metropolis of Lapeer, MI., now has a small decent spot, "Cup o' Joe's", with fairly regular Friday night music.
The music can range from good folk and blues to gawd-awful zero talent rockers, but at least somebody's trying to keep it alive.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 11:57 AM

Flat black walls; pillows on the floor; dim light; smoky haze and pungent tobacco smells from the pipes of the chess players in the rear; small tables; smaller stage along one wall, with one spot on it; one or two performers, who usually worked for free drinks or tips and a chance to be seen; players, and wanna be's, comparing guitars and banjos; young girls looking for young guys, who are looking for young girls; smells of spice, cider, tea and coffee emanating from behind the dark curtain that screened the kitchen. All this imagery creeps along in the recesses of my distant memory banks. It was more than a venue and coffee had little enough to do with it. It was a social phenomenon of its time, an opportunity, for those of us who wanted to perform, to try and fail - and try again. I'd go there again, if I could.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 01:13 PM

I don't know whether to be angry or sad over Starbucks' feeble attempts to see themselves as inheritors of the coffeeshop-beat tradition by hawking folkie and pop cds in their synthetic cookie-cutter bistros. They follow the lead of most corporate entities when examining a revolutionary, historic, and unique phenomenon : They copy the trappings and forget the soul of the thing. Suppose they actually featured live acoustic music...nahhhh.

Anyway, glad to see this old thread re-surface. Living history in this.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Amos
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 01:28 PM

I played a few of the North Beach places in the early 60's, before the advent of Flower Power. Up from the Hot Dog Palace, but the names have faded on me.

There was a really nice beat coffee shop in Westport, Connecticut, back then, too, where I liked to hang at night...and sometimes play. It was across from the NYNH and H RR station. Damned if I remember the name -- it was owned by an entrepreneurial young fella named Jeff... but it too closed its doors with the advent of the 70's and early yuppiedom.


A


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Mark Ross
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 04:49 PM

The Forum in Hartford Connecticutt

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 04:56 PM

One of the major differences between then (the old coffee houses)and now (Starbucks, et al, ad nauseum)was in the ownership and its approach. People like Bruno Banducci, at the old Hungry i, were local, small-time, often socio-politically active and had a love of personal performance - often to the point of being willing to subsidize it for its own sake. They created "hangouts" for like-minded and "other-minded" folks who found the places personal little comfort zones. Hopefully, they made enough money to keep the torch burning and food on the table. They encouraged performers.

Starbucks is, simply, a completely system-dominated and formulaic money machine for its stockholders. What bothers me isn't THEM, it's the empty-headed flock of sheep that have almost made the name Starbucks the generic term for coffee. Obviously, most of them don't really drink coffee, per se; they drink frothy, flavored concoctions that use coffee for a base. And, you are quite correct. There is no soul in this business. Else, why would they strive so diligently to put all local competition out of business?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: RiGGy
Date: 21 Sep 07 - 06:25 PM

Varied & various venues from my vile and vicked youth:
Leon's Coffee House, in an icecream shop basement in N Plainfield NJ.
[ I have met people all over the country who actually went there, ca1964 ! ]
The Id & Ego in Milwaukee. Cafe Pergolese on Chicago's Northside.
Ethical Culture Soc basement in Rittenhouse Sq Phila.

I'm now a "user" at Coffee Catz in Sebastopol CA - great open mic !

Riggy


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Sep 07 - 10:31 PM

Glad to hear that you get out from under the grape leaves Riggy. HeHeHe.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Frank Macias
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 02:36 AM

I didn't see any mention of the "The Blue Unicorn" located in San Francisco in the mid sixties. We were driving around the city. We got very hungry and saw the "Blue Unicorn" sign. We figured it was a good place to stop and eat. It was a narrow room with a small stage at the further end of it. There was a folk singer playing that night on small stage. We went to the food bar and all they had to eat was half slices of french bread and a half-stick of butter for fifty cents. Of course they had coffee to drink as well. While there I saw a girl come in dressed in feathers of all colors like Janis Joplin would dress at times. The customers were more like beatniks than hippies. They had very long hair, plaid wool shirts and looked more like lumberjacks than anything else. It was a very unusual place.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 07:31 AM

http://www.monmouthcoffee.co.uk/ourshops.htm


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 07:56 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: frogprince
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 10:09 AM

In the way of somewhat sad remnants of the past: Anyone know if the seedy stripper dive on Broadway in San Francisco is the actual location of the legendary old "Hungry I"? In October, we stayed 5 nights at the Green Tortoise Hostel a few doors away. I'm not sure now if the sign on the place says "Hungry I" or "Hungry Eye".


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 11:48 AM

The last "Hungry i" reunion, just before Bruno Banducci passed away, drew people like Bob Shane and John Stewart, Mort Sahl and Travis Edmonson and many others who had performed there. It was not, I believe, held at the actual venue, because at last report, the old "i" was still a Deja Vu-owned venue for naked ladies and lay gynecologists.

I can remember North Beach as it was in the later 1950's, when the "Beat" poets and writers, et al, who had been the primary habitue's of "The Hungry i" and various cafe's and coffee houses, were being pushed out by the collegiate hipsters and the young banker and stockbroker types from Montgomery Street. That was the audience you heard in the background on the old Kingston Trio recording, "From the Hungry i." You could still get a great home-style Italian meal in the area, but change was on the way.

It wasn't until Carol Doda, the original silicone-enhanced topless dancer, appeared at the Condor Club that North Beach forever morphed into the tawdry tenderloin we all know and love. I had dinner at "The Stinking Rose" last January. Walking the few blocks nearby, a lot of the old landmarks were gone and a few still evident, but I felt I was looking at a sad, tired old dowager with garish makeup and pale, wrinkled skin - hanging on by a thread.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Goodnight Gracie
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 10:33 AM

The Ark on Hill Street in Ann Arbor. Never got a chance to visit the later incarnations. I have great memories of hearing some great artists there for the first time, including Joe Heeney, Jim Ringer and Mary McCaslin. The Ark also had a great open mike where many great performers got their start.

Although, not a coffee house, years ago Lisa Null had great house concerts at her home in New Canaan, CT.

Goodnight Gracie


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 10:56 AM

North Beach Bolero circa 1962, gives the flavor, man....


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 11:03 AM

Amen to Amos. I had forgotten that one.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 11:26 AM

Another piece of the puizzle of "losing" North beach:

"I would go up to North Beach to the bars that had been famous hang-outs for the Beats: often Vesuvio, a perfect bar for tourists, and the Coffee Gallery, which at that time catered to the young folk-music crowd and to young wannabe Beatniks who might play chess at the table in the front window, and who mostly worked in the aerospace industry like myself during the week.

On Friday and Saturday nights, the two blocks of Grant Avenue from Vallejo Street to Union Street would be completely filled with people. The crowd would yield only slowly and reluctantly for the occasional car that tried to come through, persistently honking its horn. Lots of Gray Line tour busses came and didn't mind the fact that progress up these two blocks took forever. We ``beatniks'' were what the tourists had come to see, and the slower the bus went, the better look they got. Meanwhile, we made faces at the spectators and beat on the sides of the bus with our hands, confirming the belief of the tourists that we were very dangerous beatniks. It was a great show. I hope that Gray Line charged a whole lot for it.

Around the corner from the Coffee Gallery, on Green Street, was a much more raucous bar: the Anxious Asp (the city wouldn't allow the owner to use the name she really wanted). The Asp attracted three different groups: the owner was fairly clearly a lesbian, and most of the waitresses also seemed to be, and there were a fair number of lesbian customers. And then there were the kids who would come in to listen to the rock and roll on the jukebox at the Asp when they got tired of the folk music at the Coffee Gallery. And finally there were the Blacks, who were mostly a pretty tough bunch.

There was one homely looking girl in the crowds on Grant Avenue and in the Anxious Asp that I especially noticed. She used to sing blues sometimes at the Coffee Gallery, especially on Sunday evenings when they had the ``hootenany'' (i.e. open mike), and she had a very loud voice that I liked a whole lot. But despite her singing ability, she didn't seem to be able to find acceptance at all. I would look at her and think, ``There's someone who's even more lost in this scene than I am.''

I never knew her name at that time, but a few years later, when I would frequently see her face in newspapers and magazines, I found out that it was Janis Joplin.

(For some different observations on the North Beach bar and café scene, check out this article by P. Segal.)

A block down from Vallejo towards Chinatown, Grant Avenue crosses Broadway, where the topless craze was born during this time. At first, there were not only topless bars but topless restaurants. For a while, there was even a topless shoeshine girl on Kearny Street. The whole thing fascinated me. I don't think I'd ever seen any naked breasts at first hand except for my wife's. (Well, no, on second thought there had been a few occasions. But very few.) But I never went in any of the topless clubs because I assumed that they'd be much too expensive for me.

Also on Broadway was Mike's Pool Hall, which was probably the most interesting place to hang out at in North Beach. Somehow tourists never seemed to discover it, and mostly the people there were pretty authentic. ``Authentic what?'' is another question, which I never completely knew the answer to, but they were certainly authentic somethings. Authentic bartenders, authentic bums, authentic wannabe writers. And since Mike's was more a restaurant than a bar, it was able to stay open all night, although they stopped serving liquor at 2 AM, and so in the early hours of the morning authentic strippers and authentic whores would stop in to rest after work and get a bowl of the wonderful soup served at Mike's. I was seldom there that late, though.

After a while, I started to understand that if I wanted to become part of the North Beach scene, I needed to be there during the week. In some sense, almost everyone in the North Beach bars on the weekends was a tourist, even if they didn't safeguard themselves from the crowd by huddling inside a Gray Line bus. They may have lived in the Bay Area, or lived in San Francisco, but the weekend people weren't a real part of North Beach. And in any case, I was quite aware that for the most part the Beats had left North Beach several years ago."    (From here).

Here's a Timeline of the Decade someone has been putting together, so those who were there can stop trying to remember... ;>)


A

"


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 11:51 AM

TJ in San Diego said:

...and several in southern California whose names have vanished along with the venues - with the exception of the Prison of Socrates and the Ash Grove.

One that I remember was The Garret in Hollywood.

BTW, did anyone go to UCLA two weeks ago for the Ash Grove event? 'Twas a treat.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: frogprince
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 02:11 PM

"The North Beach Bolero"; dear god, how to react to that; "like wow, man!"
Well, I guess people with limited talent have a right to have fun, too!


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 02:47 PM

HEy, FP, don' be goin' all bourgeois on us, man, ya know? It's all the same dharma, like....ya don' wanna lose sight of that, man, no matter what, ya know what I mean??? Keep the vibes cool, man....

A


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,wes
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 07:23 PM

In New York there were some very "disepitomable" bistros - the Cafe Why Not accross the street from the Wha, and another whose location I forget was the Dragon's Den. Between gigs we hung out at the Rienzi or at the Minnetta.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 12:03 AM

Good to see this come around again.
A long-shot question: does anyone else here have any memory of The Broken Wall, just off Foster Ave in Chicago, across from North Park College? It was very small, church operated, but not that "Churchy" except for very informal worship on Sunday morning. I brewed, poured, and washed up one night a week for at least a few months. We actually had some very decent Chicago scene performers on occasion: Thom Bishop, Dodie (Kallick?), Patricia Kerr...an older black gent with New Orleans background, whose name I never got, who played as good a "harp" as I have ever heard...John Calhoun hung out quite a bit, besides playing with some regularity.
Now I'm sitting here trying to believe that it was forty years ago.
                           Dean


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: frogprince
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 12:08 AM

And that was me, tearing nostologically in my beer. Hadn't lost my cookie in a long time.
                Dean


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 02:05 PM

In NY, at least, the coffeehouse was a phenomenon created to cater to underage patrons---the drinking age was 21. More established folk music
venues all served booze---and were out of bounds to young folkies.


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Subject: RE: Great Toronto Coffee Houses
From: Crowhugger
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 02:32 PM

(Bad-memory-alert: I might have asked this on another coffee house thread some years ago, but haven't been able to find it again yet, forgot to add it to my tracer...)

Does anyone recall the name of a Toronto coffee house that was on Avenue Rd (east side) just a very few doors north of Davenport, in the mid-late 1970s? As I recall there were a few steps down just inside the front door. The stage was at the front but situated such that people entering weren't too disruptive to a performance. It was run by an "older" (LOL, he was probably younger than I am now) south-Asian man whose name completely escapes me. I did my very first truly public performance there, public as in the the audience included strangers. That evening (some kind of open stage) Veronica Boyd and I sang Sweet-Talkin' Denny by Bob Bossin as well as some songs she wrote.

To be fair I'm not sure this coffee house was "great" by any objective measure but I sure found it a great neighbourhood place to hear so many musicians, and to enjoy company and conversation, without having to go to a bar. And holy smokes, to be able to get up and play on a particular night of the week struck me at the time as a spectacular bonus. (What the heck, I was young and naive and new to Toronto.)


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 03:27 PM

Regarding coffeehouses in New York catering to teenagers:

Right around 1960, some tight-assed Seattle City Council person decided (without ever having visited one) that coffeehouses were dens of drugs, sex, and (Horrors!!) folk singers! Wasted a lot of time and taxpayers' money arguing that one, and eventually came up with a city ordinance about having to be eighteen to enter a coffeehouse.

I recall lots of curious and eager noses pressed against the front windows of various coffeehouses (those that had windows). But I don't think any of the coffeehouse owners ever carded the patrons, even the very young-looking ones.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,sandrolin
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 03:36 PM

I've been searching the wide web over for fellow pre-historic *Owl and Monkey* coffee housians from 1970-1977
Irving Street San Fran.

and yes ... the upper west side Focus Coffee House (1968 ish) bred many commedians that were to hit the SNL Bigtime..
but hell our late into the early humor was BAD:-)and i've simply never recovered.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Witherspoon
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 03:28 AM

On the OKC University campus 1966 -67 a moment in time with deep velvet couches dark walls black light posters and non alcoholic drinks. I do not remember its name but in the mid evenings of mid revolution it was so very heady.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,sandy
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 12:42 PM

Does anyone remember the "Den of Socrates" on a small side street in Venice Beach, CA in the mid 60's? We used to go to hear a wonderful guitarist whose first name was Tim. All painted black inside, small stage, round tables, so-so coffee but we didn't care! We always left there feeling very cool and sophisticated!


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Guest - Lin
Date: 24 Mar 14 - 01:20 AM

Someone named Sheridan805 posted an inquiry about a coffeehouse on Fairfax Avenue and didn't remember the name of it. It was a great coffeehouse called, The Blue Grotto. I was very young - 15 & 16 and would go there all the time - even on school nights sometimes.

You would walk down this narrow dark pathway to enter into the doors and the first room you when you entered was where they had the jukebox - always playing Peter, Paul & Mary's song, "The Great Mandela" or the Animals singing, "House of the Rising Sun"
I think you got three songs for 25 cents.

A guy named Foster ran the place and they served coffee, tea and little snacks, cookies or pastries. It was sort of dark and there were candles on tables.
Then you could walk into the middle small room that was real dark and just had some blue light in there. The back room had a pool table and people would just sit around singing (not a stage.)

The restroom was cool. Everyone, (including me) would write or draw things on the walls. I would draw faces of curly haired guys - being I was in love with Donovan and a boy that I knew at the coffeehouse named Marty who was also a folk singer.
We were all so young and happy.
Sometimes the West Hollywood Sheriffs would come in there looking for kids under 18 (after 10 PM curfew time) and they would tell you to go right home. Or they could take you in but mostly told you to go home if you were under 18 - and I looked very young and small!

Other coffeehouses in L.A. were the Fifth Estate, The Garrett,
The Infinite Mind, Pandoras Box (I couldn't get in there as I was under 18.) The Ash Grove.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Guest - Lin
Date: 24 Mar 14 - 01:24 AM

Oops, accidently submitted my message above twice. Submitted it the first time and it didn't seem like it went through - so submitted again. :-)


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Mar 14 - 07:32 PM

Kawa Espresso Bar, Calgary. Wine, beer, some entertainment.

May have been mentioned up above, haven't looked.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,GUEST: St. Paul Girl
Date: 12 Jul 14 - 03:32 AM

I've actually read every post above from 1999 on ...whew! ...looking to see if there was any mention of the "UNICORN" in downtown Saint Paul Minnesota, and there was not.

Probably because it was not a "great" coffee house, but it made an impact in roughly 1961 through 1966.

It was in an alley in a block off the corner of 7th Street and St. Peter Street. It was owned by a man named Gene Cassidy [sp?] who lived in an apartment above who had many parties up there. The only way to get to the party was via an elevator that one hoisted up with a rope pulley.

It was not "Alley 29", the other downtown coffee house.

We were still in high school when we started hanging out there as often as we could. The music and vibe was more 50's beatnik with poetry readings, as well, but morphed into the Folk Music of the 60's as it became more mainstream and popular.

Does anyone who follows this thread recall the place? It seems to be erased from the history books ...

Thanks, Seaneen


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Bill
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 05:07 PM

The only coffee house I remember on Avenue Rd. was the NightOwl on west side of Avenue Road near Yorkville. The band Edward Bear used to play there regularly.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,johnnvic
Date: 06 Nov 14 - 06:45 PM

I performed at.the Sword and Stone on Charles Street in Boston in the 70s. I did standup.comedy.there among the folk singers. My friend Paul.and I started a regular comedy.night and I learned about the place from Jay Leno when he was still living in Boston and going to Emerson College. I'm.glad to m3n see.it hasn't been forgotten. The owner was a.short tempered guy named Mark and he had a very lovely girlfriend and waitress named Joy.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: PHJim
Date: 07 Nov 14 - 04:26 PM

Hamilton - The Black Swan
         - The Ebony Knight
         - The Happy Medium
later on- Knight II

Stratford- The Black Swan

Toronto - The Riverboat
         - The Bohemian Embassy

Ottawa   - L'Hibou


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 08 Nov 14 - 07:09 AM

Not much different than posting 15 years go.
The all had open mic nights and allowed under 21.

"Golden Bear"- Huntington Beach California ( small brass plaque in a back corner of a shopping mall commemorates the location) Monday

jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2011/12/golden-bear-306-ocean-avenue-huntington.html



"Lighthouse" - Redondo Beach California. (Jazz) Tuesday

wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighthouse_Café



"Coffee Gallery" - Pasadena California (still going)

www.coffeegallery.com/



"Ice House" - Pasadena California (now a comedy club) Thursday

" It was opened in 1960 by Willard Chilcott who, soon after, took on folk music icon Bob Stane as his partner.[

From 1960 to 1978 The Ice House was one of the top folk music clubs in the country with acts coming from around the country to perform" (from wiki)


"The E Bar " - Pasadena California (aka Expresso Bar aka Express Yourself Bar)

articles.latimes.com/1990-10-17/news/ga-2463_1_espresso-bar


Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Once upon a time there was a tavern
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours
And dreamed of all the great things we would do


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 08 Nov 14 - 12:23 PM

I've got to put in a plug for my home base, Stone Soup Coffeehouse, originally located in Providence, RI, but for the last several years in Pawtucket, RI. Within each city it has had many locations but this year has returned to Pawtucket's Slater Mill on the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The Slater Mill is the Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. If audience members come in the afternoon, they can tour the mill and it's neighboring buildings, the Wilkinson Mill and the Sylvanus Brown House. Then they can go out for dinner and return for an evening of music. Over the years Stone Soup has featured local, regional, and national performers.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: GUEST,Judah
Date: 03 Sep 15 - 10:04 PM

Does anyone know whatever happened to singer-songwriter Billy Mitchell, who used to headline in the remnant of the Fat Black Pussycat at the Feenjon Cafe in Greenwich Village? (I briefly was an assistant manager there.) Well, I mention him in my new book, and I would love to get a copy to him. Please contact me through my website, http://hokuhouse.com. Thanks.


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Mudcat time: 24 June 2:35 PM EDT

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