Cafe Wha? was founded by Manny Roth in 1959, and unfortunately, Manny passed away in July 2014. Click here to read more about our innovative founder, and for a bit more history about the famed club he began : http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/nyregion/manny-roth-94-impresario-of-cafe-wha-is-dead.html?_r=0
Since the 1950s the Café Wha? has been a favorite hot spot cornered in the heart of Greenwich Village. The 60s was an impressionable and revolutionary era. Artists of the time frequented the Café Wha? as it was known to be a sanctuary for talent; Allen Ginsberg regularly sipped his cocktails here. The Café Wha? was the original stomping ground for prodigies Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. Bruce Springsteen, Peter, Paul & Mary, Kool and the Gang, as well as comedians, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby also began their road to stardom on this historic stage. The Café Wha? encompassed the Beat Generation and continues to hold tight to its spirit, entertaining all walks of life.
In the early 1970's, the space featured World Music under the direction of Menachem Dworman. His son, Noam, took over the room in the mid 80's and went back to a rock music format. The Cafe Wha? House Band was formed in 1988, and the Dworman's sold the club in the early 2000's.
Today, the Café Wha? showcases amazing talent with some of the greatest bands in New York City. Monday night features a variety of performers - check our calendar for details. The Tuesday Night Funk Band takes on Tuesdays with soul music, radiating the roots of R&B and Funk. What about the Café Wha? House Band? Wednesday thru Sunday they will satisfy your every need for sound, hitting on all styles of music; Motown, Reggae, R&B, and Classic/ Alternative/ Modern rock. Cafe Wha? also hosts many young, original musicians, keeping true to it's roots of discovering the best and brightest new talent. Who knows, the next band you see opening for our house band could be the next Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, or Bruce Springsteen!!!
Every night at the Café Wha? is a party. You never know which famous musician will show up and sit in with one of these incredible bands. The New York Times raves, “Power house talent - you'd be hard-pressed to find a more exhilarating evening out." The Café Wha? is a stop you have to make whether you are living or just visiting New York City.
In January of 2012, Van Halen performed a special show at Cafe Wha? Lead singer David Lee Roth recently released a video discussing the Cafe Wha?'s history - check it out below!