“See, there’s only two theaters, man… that are set up pretty groovy all around for music and for smooth stage changes, good lighting and all that – the Fillmore and The Capitol Theatre. And those are the only two in the whole country.” —Jerry Garcia
In partnership with the family of Jerry Garcia, The Capitol Theatre christened its lobby bar as Garcia’s in honor of the late Grateful Dead guitarist and singer, who counted the Port Chester, New York, rock palace among his favorite venues in the country.
The bar is open seven days a week, beginning at 5:00PM, and hosts live music. Garcia’s features rare photos, artwork, and equipment, including vintage never-before-seen shots from famed music/fashion photographer Roberto Robanne, who met Garcia in 1966 and had unlimited access to Garcia and the Dead. Noted philanthropist and Grateful Dead fan Scott Brittingham has also loaned an 18″ bronze sculpture of Garcia’s hand to the bar (one was donated to the Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz and another exact version is displayed in Garcia’s honor at The Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara).
On April 25th, Garcia’s daughter Trixie was on-hand for the final night of the historic 9-show run by Furthur (featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir) to announce the opening of the bar, the first to be officially associated with the family.
“We chose to launch this idea at the Capitol because of its long and illustrious history with the Grateful Dead and the jam scene,” says Trixie. “We hope that it becomes a hub for the community to share stories and continue to build lifelong memories and friendships. Pete Shapiro and The Capitol Theatre staff were the appropriate partners to do this with because of our shared goals and his continued love and support of the Grateful Dead community. Just as important to note is the fact that Jerry’s parents supported our family by owning and operating a bar in San Francisco in the 1940′s and so it seemed right to reconnect with our family tradition.”
“More than any one artist, Jerry Garcia evokes the spirit of The Cap,” says theatre owner Peter Shapiro. “We’re thrilled that we were able to collaborate with his family to enable visitors to feel his presence every night.”
“It’s no secret that the Grateful Dead loved playing at the Capitol Theatre,” says the band’s archivist David Lemieux. They performed there 18 times in 1970-71 alone. In a rave review of Furthur’s performance at The Cap in April, Rolling Stone called the theater “one of the best music halls in the country” and said “it feels like it was designed specifically to host the Dead.”
Garcia’s offers craft beers and wines & spirits with a focus on local producers, and host concerts from emerging artists on nights when the theatre is closed. Stay tuned for more show announcements.