Sunday, August 16, 2009

2362 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA-The Blind Lemon

The Blind Lemon was the first folk club in Berkeley, and one of the first on the West Coast. It was founded by Rolf Cahn, a German by way of Cambridge, Massachuessets, who was an accomplished guitarist. The club was opened in 1958, and served coffee and folk music, literally setting the stage for what was to come. Cahn would later found The Cabale Creamery, an important early 1960s Berkeley folk club, a few blocks away at 2504 San Pablo.

This photo was taken on August 11, 2009. The typewriter repair business at the site seems to have closed some time ago. The building is even smaller than it appears in the photo, a narrow building that is not particularly long.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I was a bartender at the Lemon 1966-8 and lived briefly in the apartment behind. It was a chessbar with chessclocks and boards when I began but Doug? and I began substituting rock music for classical and catering to a noisier crowd. Ray Gilbert owned the bar at that time. We had several happenings with poetry, light show and music there. A long time ago.

  3. Nice blog.
    Thanks for giving me lots of important information from your blog that is very useful for me. Keep it up
    East bay nightclub

  4. Does the name Les Fairbanks ring a bell for any of you Blind Lemon folk? He's my dad and co-owner sometime in the late 50's but don't see his name in any of the references I've found about the club. A pretty young lady began flirting with him as he tended bar and, fast forward, that's how I'm writing to you about him and the club. Any info would be helpful and a kick to learn. Btw- he's still alive and kicking! Thanks