Santa Cruz Good Times

Dec 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Bikers, Booze and Bands

blog_noiseTips on how to book a show at Henflings Roadhouse Tavern

The term “roadhouse” is said to date back to the mid-1800s. One history of the term originates from the gold rush. As travelers made their way West and North, they relied on the roadhouse to provide hot meals and warm beds. Guests were often greeted by innkeepers, welcoming them back “home” each time they visited. During the days of prohibition in the 1920s, roadhouses outside city limits became ideal venues for bootleggers to share their special sauce. In the late 1940s and ’50s Americans embraced a car culture that encouraged hitting the open road. The roadhouse once again served as the ultimate rest stop. Music has always been a part of the roadhouse culture, personifying the spirit of freedom and independence. Our very own Santa Cruz Mountains provide a glimpse into the classic roadhouse culture at Henflings Roadhouse Tavern in Ben Lomond.

Adopting the “roadhouse” moniker is not a stretch for Henflings when you consider the Webster’s definition is “a tavern usually outside of city limits providing liquor and usually meals, dancing, and often gambling.” They probably wouldn’t admit to gambling, but otherwise Henflings is our very own slice of Americana.

Catering to everyone from the Ghost Mountain Riders to the saltiest of locals, Henflings is a historic notch on any band’s live music belt. Henflings hosts music six nights a week (Tuesday is the only non-music night), and rarely has a cover. Punk and metal bands have a safe haven on Wednesday nights, with punks coming from as far as The Netherlands to hit the tiny stage. Other nights consist of primarily blues, country and good old rock ‘n’ roll. The venue never hosts hip-hop and doesn’t see a lot of reggae.

Booking about two months in advance, Henflings is one of the easiest venues to contact about a show. All e-mails that include a link to song samples are answered within 24 hours. Catering to both local and touring bands, if you are booked, Henflings provides a sound engineer and a full PA system. All shows are paid and negotiated on a band by band basis.

When I asked Henflings booker Kim McFarland what makes a show a success, her answer was pure roadhouse, “Bring in people who drink.”

For more details on how to book a show at Henflings, go to

Comments (2)Add Comment
Uh member the daze...
written by DarkenSmith, December 14, 2012
Yes, Henflings is the real deal. I hung out there & played a couple (?) gigs in the late 90s. Nothing like a small mob of Ghosts staring knives into me as we played our weird brand of prog/punk/metal.

Crazy Fun. Keep it up!
written by Bettie Pain, May 18, 2012
You got that right! This place is f'in awesome.

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

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


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location