Sunday, August 16, 2009

2504 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA--Cabale Creamery, Good Buddy, Caverns West, The Questing Beast, Tito's, The Longbranch

2504 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley (at Dwight Way) was a music venue in Berkeley more or less continuously from 1963 to about 1976. Use Permits in California make it a lot easier to open a venue in a building that has already received permission to be a live music venue.

This photo was taken August 11, 2009. 2504 San Pablo is the building with the brown facade, behind the bus stop. For many years it has been a retail store called Good Vibrations. You can google it, but don't do it at work.

2504 San Pablo Site History

January 1963-Early 1965: Cabale Creamery
A folk club founded by Rolf Cahn, Debbie Green, Howard Zeem and Chandler Laughlin, one of the principal folk stops on the West Coast in the early 60s.

Mid 1965; The Good Buddy

Fall 1965: Caverns West

November 1965-May 1966 The Questing Beast
A folk club with a psychedelic twist to it. A few local rock bands played there, including an embryonic Country Joe and The Fish, and there may have been an Owsley Stanley connection. A Grateful Dead tape listed as "Questing Beast Rehearsal 2-11-66" is spurious, but the Dead may have been considering using the Beast for a rehearsal hall prior to their departure to Los Angeles with Owsley in February 1966. The city Public Health department closed the club.

1967-69 Tito's
Tito's was more of a "joint", a place that featured dancing to local bands. Most of them were unknown, although a few (like The Loading Zone) became well-known later. The bookings--at least of bands that were known--seemed to lean more towards R&B or funky jazz.

1970-76 (approximately) The Longbranch
The Longbranch was a hard rock club. East Bay bands like Earthquake, Greg Kihn and Eddie Money were regulars at the venue. At one point in the early 70s, a lot of reggae bands played at the club, including groups like Toots And The Maytals, then quite unknown. A few touring acts filled in their itinerary with gigs at the club, usually when they were opening a show at Winterland or a similar venue, and had room for an extra gig.


  1. Regarding "Good Vibrations", I have always thought that "Questing Beast" would be a great name for a store dealing in the speciality market that keeps them in business.

  2. A nifty little factoid: The one time notoriety of the Cabale/Cabale Creamery coffee house led the local vice squad and FBI to ban the licensing of any business under the name "Cabale" in the future. However, Chan Loughlan (Travus T Hipp) still retains Cabale News Service as his business cover. His broadcasts can be found on

  3. Travis has passed away.

  4. Actually we were on the corner where Cafe Trieste is now. The biggest draws were Asleep at the Wheel and Tower of Power. The Long Branch was really happening.

  5. I remember The Babylon being a few doors south on San Pablo before the Longbranch opened. I saw (Purple) Earthquake there after hours. I still have a flyer/handbill for the Crabs at Babylon probably 1969.