Raleigh >Berkeley Cafe
One of a kind divey music venue. Went last night (Wednesday) for Open Mic night. Didn't know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised! Lots of good local talent there. Good variety of seating. Outdoor patio. All in all a friendly place, though a bit of a dive and prepare to come home smelling like an ash tray--had to wash my pillow case this morning!!!
I'll definitely go back to the Berkeley Cafe Again.
Had a great time at the Fred Eaglesmith show on 5/31/08. I didn't think it was a dive at all. The music area is small, and for act that requires one to listen closely (rather than dance), it would be good if there were a few more chairs.
They serve a variety of "fun food" items in the evening and they looked really good. If you want a table, it is a good idea to be there when the doors open.
The place was clean, the mens room was clean.
I'm looking forward to returning when they book another act of the caliber of Fred Eaglesmith.
A charming dive that serves sandwiches by day and live music by night..
One of Raleigh's oldest live music venues, Berkeley Cafe still rocks downtown; music devotees show up to enjoy blues and other great sounds. Appropriately smoky and dark, the music room features a commanding stage, high ceilings and a good sound system. A small bar with tables and booths in front is just right for taking a break from the music, having a conversation and ordering another round of drinks.
TRASH. I have traveled the US extensively and visited clubs all over. There are landfills that dont have as much trash as this place. The entertainment sucked, and it a dive in the true sense of the word. Any one who likes this place carries all their taste in the mouth and it is bad.
Remember middle school?. Yes middle school, where the students are awkward, the teachers don't want to be there so they take it out on the students, and nobody has a good time for three years. If this is the experience you are looking for in a bar, then the Berkeley cafe is for you! The crowd was stiff and uncomfortable, and the staff seemed more interested in making sure everyone was standing in line and facing forward than they were in creating a fun atmosphere where people could have a good time. I actually saw a bouncer break two girls up because they were being too amorous with each other! What an idiot! I'm not a regular at trendy clubs or bars, I usually prefer back-alley places and rock clubs, but that's because those places are usually more laidback and friendly. The Berkeley cafe was as strict and stuffy as a country club luncheon, and as dilapidated and poorly stocked as a missisippi juke joint. Berkeley manages to offer the worst of both worlds, go anywhere else to find a better time.
Not a good time. So my friends and I went to Metal Massacre I here and it SUCKED. There was ONE good band, which would have made it all worth it - but the service there was awful. AWFUL. I had been here during high school to watch my friends play, at it was a lot of fun, but the bartenders checked ID EVERY TIME even though I had a wristband and the bouncers were just out looking to catch people. Needless to say, we left early...and we won't be back again. If you want a place that's fun and laidback, then this is not it.
best place for real music. best place to mingle with the locals in the music scene as well younger college folk, sposnors wonderful groups who come in a turn the place out!
Not a bad place.. The Berkeley is not really known for their quality live music, although they have bands a few times a week. Some of the bands are good, some are not. The booking seems to be the biggest problem with the live music. Their open mic night is always packed and sometimes is a great experience. It's hit and miss, but worth the trip. The food at the restaurant side is okay, mainly small grill type food. But, at 1 am, that's all you need.
Laid back atmosphere. The Berkley is a cool place. It is right downtown, has a stage where good and bad local bands play, and has a bit of a different crowd than other raleigh night spots. If you want a underground but trendy atmosphere that is pretty laid back...go to the berkley.
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