The History of New York City's Cafe Wha?
A group of people stand outside the Cafe Wha? nightclub at 113 MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village, New York City, April 21, 1966. (Jack Manning/New York Times Co./Getty Images)
The History of New York City's Cafe Wha?
A group of people stand outside the Cafe Wha? nightclub at 113 MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village, New York City, April 21, 1966. (Jack Manning/New York Times Co./Getty Images)

 

New York City’s Greenwich Village is absolutely teeming with folk and rock history. And one of the area’s more obscure, basement-level clubs, Cafe Wha?—which still sits off of MacDougal Street—is a hole in the wall with a whole lot of history.

Among the legends who graced its tiny stage are folk hero Bob Dylan; the pride of New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen; and psychedelic axeman, Jimi Hendrix.

According to Gothamist, the club, which opened in 1959, is the brainchild of World War II veteran Manny Roth (uncle to Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth), who bought the former subterranean horse stable and turned it into the legendary club with his last dollars. Not only was it a performance space for some of the top talent in the ’60s, but it was also one of the epicenters of the Beat Movement, with regulars like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

For more on the tiny club’s incredible history, click here.

—RealClearLife