Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Aug 02nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Crepe Expectations

music crepeAt 40, The Crepe Place is still cranking out delicious vittles …and rock stars

The Crepe Place is the indie rock equivalent of the machine that put stars on Sneetches’ bellies in the famous Dr. Seuss tale. Musicians walk into the Soquel Avenue restaurant in Santa Cruz as unknowns, and they leave as rising stars. 

“It seems like everybody who has come up through the indie rock circuit in the past five years has come through here, with the exception of just a couple,” notes Adam Bergeron, who runs the restaurant with his longtime buddy Eric Gifford. The proprietor adds that he just got satellite radio in his car. Nodding in Gifford’s direction, he explains, “There’s this one station that he’s been telling me about for years that he calls ‘Crepe Place Radio’: bands that are really big right now that just played to a few people in here when they first started.”

“Local Natives is gigantic in the indie music world, and Local Natives played here on, like, three different Monday nights to crickets,” Gifford chimes in. “And if you look at the Outside Lands Festival, there’s five or six different acts that have played The Crepe Place.”

Some bands have even risen to fame in the interim between the booking of a Crepe Place gig and the time of the actual show. One example is the Lumineers, which honored its commitment to play the restaurant after blowing up, appearing on Late Night with David Letterman and playing the Hollywood Bowl. Another is Portugal the Man, which gigged at The Crepe Place a week before playing the aforementioned Outside Lands Festival. “Their parents flew down from Alaska,” Bergeron recalls. “It was one of those crazy, heat wave, 100-degree days. The front room gets really hot on those days anyway, and you put 100 kids in there, dancing around, and it gets so hot! Their poor parents were so miserable. We gave them seats and pointed fans at them, but it had to be 120 degrees in there … and humid.”

The Crepe Place has been regularly featuring live music since 2007, when Bergeron, Gifford and their friend Vincent Holguin took over proprietorship of the venue from Gary Keeley, who co-founded the venue with his wife Marlene in 1973. Bergeron, who owned the San Francisco nightclub 12 Galaxies at the time that Keeley handed him the keys, used his preexisting connections to book a slew of cred-building acts at the restaurant, including Vetiver, Chuck Prophet, Kelley Stoltz and Sean Hayes.

Musical entertainers initially performed on a stage in the venue’s outdoor garden, but the proprietors moved the music indoors in 2008 due to some hassles from a disgruntled neighbor. Concerts inside the building are up-close and personal—or, as Bergeron describes them, “somewhere between a house party and a show.” Some of the notable acts that have livened up the front room are Frank Black, Camper Van Beethoven, Pete Bernhard of The Devil Makes Three and Rhett Miller of the Old 97’s.

The Crepe Place’s history as a magic portal to musical stardom bodes well not only for the restaurant’s weekly performers, the funk trio 7 Come 11 and solo musician Rhan Wilson, but also for the local bands Harry & the Hit Men and Dan P and the Bricks, which will appear at the restaurant on Saturday, July 13 to celebrate the Santa Cruz institution’s 40th anniversary.  And if a certain little birdie spoke true, the venue might even get a surprise visit from an established star the following week. But don’t ask us to name any names … Norah Jones, for instance. 


The Crepe Place’s 40th anniversary party, featuring Harry & the Hit Men and Dan P and the Bricks, begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 13 at 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. No cover. For more information, call 429-6994.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover