No, Cafe du Nord is NOT reopening tomorrow…
… and I’m getting really sick of reading headlines to that
effect today. Cafe du Nord shut down over a year ago, and it’s being replaced
by yet another dumb yuppie restaurant that has, unfortunately, chosen to use the Cafe du Nord name.
It makes me angry because it’s such a perfect example of the
way San Francisco has been changing for the worse. I’m not against all change
(and what makes a city interesting is that it’s constantly changing), but it’s
alarming that our arts-focused culture, which has drawn so many people to this
city, is being slowly forced out and replaced by things like restaurants that serve overpriced food and
$5,000-a-month luxury apartments.
The fact that the “new” Cafe du Nord (let’s call it Cafe not
Nord?) will include live music – but merely as background accompaniment to the
unimaginative, meat-centric dinner menu that will be the real focus – is a
slap in the face to the hundreds (thousands?) of fabulous performances the real
Cafe du Nord played host to over the years. I personally saw dozens of smaller
touring acts there and a boatload of local bands. My friends Erin Brazill and
the Brazillionaires, in fact, had the honor of playing the last night of
performances. I was so grateful to get to be there to bid one of my favorite venues a fond farewell.
At the end of the day, what makes me most infuriated is the
fact that headlines implying Cafe du Nord is “reopening” tomorrow don’t
properly honor the reality that San Francisco culture has suffered a meaningful
loss that should be honored. Cafe du Nord is not reopening tomorrow: Cafe du
Nord will never reopen. Cafe du Nord is gone forever, and other live music
venues are currently in jeopardy.
We are losing something. We have lost
something. It’s something that matters.
Acknowledge it, dammit.
Nailed it. (I would call it Cafe du Nouveau or something like that.)