Live music, fresh crepes, and a full bar is the Crepe Place’s recipe for a fun night.
Located on Soquel Avenue, the restaurant-turned-music venue has perfected its concoction of good eats and good performances. Musicians such as the anticipated John Vanderslice and Frog Eyes are another reason that people aren’t just coming for the food.
The Crepe Place has always been happening. The front room holds 100 people and, according to co-owner Adam Bergeron, it’s a rare night that the place isn’t packed.
“Some shows sell out weeks in advance,” Bergeron said. “Sometimes it seems that, since the musician is so popular, you wonder why they didn’t just play a bigger room, but some just like The Crepe Place.”
Upon entering the restaurant, visitors are greeted by the bar, a which serves as a live music hot spot. Further back is the antique dining room, and further yet, patrons find themselves on a garden patio.
“What I like most about The Crepe Place is its old-time, intimate feel,” said Robancho, Crepe Place regular and third-year Cowell student. “It’s not a huge, glamorous, modern bar, and I like that.”
Robancho’s favorite performance was over the summer, when folk band Infantree opened for Portugal. The Man.
Booking shows that people want to see is not a problem at The Crepe Place.
“I spend a lot of time listening to music, and I trust my own judgment,” Bergeron said. He works with around 20 booking agencies that assist in the process and help to find exactly what artists would be appropriate for his audience.
In addition, The Crepe Place gets about 30 calls a day from musicians nationally and worldwide that want to play a set at the restaurant.
“We are huge fans of music,” Bergeron said. “And I’ve been doing this for a lot of years.” Bergeron, who handles all of the booking and logistics surrounding the music aspect of The Crepe Place, previously owned a nightclub in San Francisco.
Though it does see its fair share of students, the venue is also frequented by a mix of out-of-towners and local Santa Cruz community members. Though the venue has a limited capacity of 100, it doesn’t pose an issue for attendees.
“I don’t feel lost in the crowd like I do at other larger venues, like The Catalyst,” Robancho said.
Along with the jams, every Monday night finds a movie playing in the garden. Films are projected onto an eight by six foot screen, and as the outdoor heat lamps are cranked up, the reel rolls at 9 p.m. This past Monday’s movie was indie favorite “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”
“We’re just really happy that people enjoy coming here,” said co-owner Eric Gifford. “And it’s important to give local musicians an outlet.”
And though it is a popular music destination, Gifford stressed the aspect that gave the venue its name.
“Providing sweet and savory crepes is something that we take very seriously,” Gifford said with a smile.
The owners are proud of what they created, and were pleased to offer the opportunity for musicians to create something of their own.
“We just really love music,” Bergeron said. “We honestly do this for love, not money.”