“We joined SCCA to learn from and work with other successful businesses in the Seward neighborhood.”
SCCA Member: Jim Welna, Welna II Hardware

Member Profile – The Cabooze and Joint Bar

General Manager Steve Makens and Marketing Coordinator Paige Smith

General Manager Steve Makens and Marketing Coordinator Paige Smith

If you grew up in the Twin Cities and went to live music shows, chances are you’ve spent some time at The Cabooze at 917 Cedar Avenue. From it’s opening in 1974, The Cabooze has hosted the best of local and international blues, rock, reggae and jam bands in its intimate and laid back venue. According to the Minnesota Blues Society website, the grand opening feature at The Cabooze in 1974 was the Friends Road Show, described as “a 13-member European troupe that combines rock and roll with mime, including jugglers, clowns, magicians and a fire eater.”

Since then, many well-known musicians have performed on stage including John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Dave Ray, Willie Murphy, Gary Busey, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Les Exodus and Toots & the Maytals. The Joint Bar, adjacent to The Cabooze and now owned and operated by the owners of The Cabooze, has also been in business since the early 1970’s.

On a recent afternoon, Social Media & Marketing Coordinator Paige Smith gave a tour of The Cabooze and Joint Bar and talked about some of the recent changes and upcoming shows. In the long, narrow layout of The Cabooze, the stage is to one side. “We shortened the bar to make more room in front of the stage,” explains Smith. “Before, there was a bottleneck between the stage and the end of the bar, and the bartender had the best seat in the house to see the show!”

The addition of The Cabooze Outdoor Plaza a few years ago, a wide open space with a stage situated between the Joint and Whiskey Junction, has allowed them to expand the summer music concert schedule. The June calendar includes concerts by Michael Franti, Trombone Shorty, Third Eye Blind, and Brand New, an ‘emo-alt’ band from the 2000’s.

Located next to the Franklin LRT station and nestled between the West Bank, Seward and Ventura Village neighborhoods, The Cabooze and Joint Bar are now officially part of the Seward neighborhood and are new members of SCCA. “We are excited to reach out more to the Seward neighborhood and its residents,” says Smith. “Seward has a small town/city vibe, with all the restaurants and shops along Franklin Avenue and a great mix of people.” Welcome (back) to the neighborhood, The Cabooze and Joint Bar!

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