The first place I ever caught the Grateful Dead live was at The Capitol Theatre in Portchester, NY on November 7, 1970. The New Riders of the Purple Sage opened the show that evening with Jerry Garcia playing pedal steel guitar. I recall my brother-in-law Paco telling us that he had drinks next door to The Capitol at Vassons with Jerry Garcia and Pigpen prior to the show. So this announcement is very àpropos.
The Capitol Theatre has christened its lobby bar as “Garcia’s” in honor of the legendary Grateful Dead guitarist and singer, who considered the venue was of his favorite in the country. The bar, which formally opens May 16-18, will operate seven days a week and will host live music. The opening ceremony will feature three night’s of performances by Reid Genauer and Friends.
The news came yesterday, at the end of the final night of Furthur’s nine-show run at The Capitol Theatre. Garcia’s daughter Trixie was on-hand for the announcement. “We chose to launch this idea at the Capitol because of its long and illustrious history with the Grateful Dead and the jam scene,” said Trixie. “We hope that it becomes a hub for the community to share stories and continue to build lifelong memories and friendships. Pete Shapiro and the Capitol Theatre staff were the appropriate partners to do this with because of our shared goals and his continued love and support of the Grateful Dead community. Just as important to note is the fact that Jerry’s parents supported our family by owning and operating a bar in San Francisco in the 1940’s and so it seemed right to reconnect with our family tradition.”
Garcia’s will be the first bar to be officially associated with Jerry Garcia’s family.
Garcia’s will include rare photos, artwork and equipment, including vintage never-before-seen shots from famed music/fashion photographer Roberto Robanne, who met Garcia in 1966 and had unlimited access to the band. The bar will also have a 18” bronze sculpture of Garcia’s hand, which has been loaned to the establishment by noted philanthropist and Grateful Dead fan Scott Brittingham. Garcia’s will offer craft beers, as well as wines and spirits, with a focus on local producers. The bar will also host concerts from emerging artists on nights when the theatre is closed.
- Furthur: 8-Night Run at The Capitol Theatre (jambase.com)