How the Other Cafe got its name

JBS from Illinois, thats in Chicago BTW ; )
March 14, 2011 at 9:43 PM
Stumbled across the 30 year reunion info last year and in light of your response above I wanted to share a bit. I worked at the “Other” in 1975 (this was the Original Other Cafe before sold to Ayres et. al.) behind the counter and hung out a lot when the first acts, open mike type, music (mainly) bad piano and guitar players, were just starting. The original owner and progenitor was a young woman from St. Louis named Kay M. who got the ball rolling. She put fresh cut flowers on each table every day and you could sit outside and catch some sun at a table or two on the sidewalk. (hard to do, if you didn’t go across Mt. Parnassus to the Sunset.) Met some great Haight neighborhood folks, Sweet Jane, Lauren, Tom, Daryl, Ernie, David, Louie and last but NOT least Smiley, (King of the Queen of Cups and UFO spotter par excellance)you all know who you are!!) and generally soaked up what vibe from the early days that was still floating around. (and there was some!) However, the reason I write is to explain the name, the “Other Cafe”. During the heyday of the Haight, one of the main hangouts for good coffee/food was called the “Psalms Cafe” at the corner of Haight and Masonic. Great recorded music playing and cheap and good food. It was the place to go for hippies and straights alike. The Psalms, was Mecca, True North (so to speak) So, Kay not able to instantly enter the fray, especially so far off of Haight street direct action circuit came up with the name that if you know about the Haight, you knew instantly what it meant. It was a good idea, and the cafe was flourishing when I left. I don’t why she sold it a few years later,(apparently 1977) since I had gone back to the Midwest. But,the name was already beginning to be worth something. It was locally famous before it got nationally famous. regards, JBS

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One Response to How the Other Cafe got its name

  1. bob says:

    Kay Moran was her name… a wonderful and kind person..

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