Jim and Anne at the Coffee Gallery Backstage – Photo by Valerie Nestrick

We are all sad to witness another “end of an era” after hearing the announcement that the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, California will be permanently closed.   Backstage owner, Bob Stane, made this very difficult decision while recovering from a recent hospitalization.

The 49 seat Coffee Gallery Backstage was truly a unique and very special place for us as performers as well as the audience; more of a listening room than a Coffee shop and owner Bob Stane was more of a friend than a proprietor.

Here is the official creative description of CGB from their website:

The room “location” is a coffee bean warehouse somewhere in Central America. You are comfortably stranded while your cruise ship rides out a storm at the mouth of the river.  You, fortunately, are ashore and have stumbled upon this warehouse where a group of musical and witty, mostly American, expatriates are earning their cups of exotic coffee by entertaining with voice, guitar and humor. 
There seems to be a never-ending supply of them; it is almost always a different group every week night. The entertainers seem to be overjoyed with this bean storage facility as the audience is starved for “good” music and comedy and no machinery of any kind makes a sound while they are performing. Grinders are not allowed. Each individual bean is crushed, quietly, by hand by underpaid field workers.

Jim and I were regular performers at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, and we appreciated the “no grinder” rule more than anything.  We could sing the softest, sweetest John Denver Ballad and never heard a pin drop from the actual coffee shop outside the backstage room.

We called Bob Stane “The Voice of God” as he liked to make announcements through a microphone he kept close at hand from his seat in a darkened corner of the room.  Bob ran the lights and sound and occasionally the air conditioner (if we begged him to) and he would gleefully announce to the audience the availability of indoor plumbing and lead everyone in the “seductive dimming of the lights” ceremony at the beginning of each show.

We love you and will miss you Bob!  There is not or will ever be anything like the Coffee Gallery Backstage.  We continue to wish you a full recovery (nothing else will do….) and lots of joy in your garden for many seasons to come.

More about Bob Stane In the Pasadena News: https://www.pasadenanow.com/main/local-music-promoter-bob-stane-hospitalized-coffee-gallery-backstage-permanently-closed?fbclid=IwAR2xJ04apYlOp_Ei_VEUgzHhcZAt5_bkebHoPXMwGou1fOsz0PSbS2_YObk