Sunday, August 16, 2009

1827 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA--The Freight and Salvage (original site)

The Freight and Salvage is Berkeley's premier traditional music club, open continuously since 1968. Originally opened to provide a forum for folk music traditions after similar venues in Berkeley had closed or migrated to rock, the Freight is now a folk tradition of its own.

This is the original site, at 1827 San Pablo Avenue, now Berkeley Auto Body at 1829 San Pablo. The building was called The Freight and Salvage, and founder Nancy Owens chose to keep the name so the club could keep the Yellow Pages listing. I have written extensively about performers at the original site in the first two years of the Freight's existence.

The Freight moved to 1111 Addison Street, a few blocks away, in about 1988, and have since moved to 2020 Addison Street in downtown Berkeley. This photo was taken on August 11, 2009.


  1. Actually, the original building was signed on its exterior "Freight & Salvage Warehouse" and its very first use for music occured in 1966, when one of the group of founders, poet abd guitarist Ken Stryker, invited me to step into the theb-vacant interior to play a few tunes by way of sampling the acoustics. The dusty, spider-webbed old wood beams and chipped brick worked well for acoustic music.

    1. Not quite. The sign on the storefront said “Berkeley FURNITURE Freight & Salvage.” We just published a photo from March 1968 on the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association’s Facebook page.

    2. Thanks for the correction, Daniella--it's very Berkeley to get these things right.

      A great photo, for any who want to follow the link