The Owl Cafe (Seattle) 1988-1989
I took these snapshots in and outside of the late great Owl Cafe over a period of a couple of years in the late '80s. This was THE rockin' blues joint in Seattle's north end after the demise of the Jolly Roger Roadhouse. Operated by Patrick "Fatcat" Lynch and Uncle Ray Varner (Ray ran the New Orleans style Mizz Sadie's Kitchen in the Owl), this very popular club featured blues talent from all over the Northwest and the occasional touring act. The Owl was also the home of the long running Blue Monday jam session that started around 1980. Lots of great music happened in this place!
The good times at Owl Cafe eventually crashed and burned around 1992. The joint is still open as an Irish pub known as the Conor Byrne. The Broomdust Blues Band currently hosts a a blues jam at the Conor Byrne one Wednesday a month, but the blues has pretty much moved out of the Ballard neighborhood, with the exception of the regular Thursday night gig at the Salmon Bay Eagles a few blocks away.
Left to right: Guitarist Ted Belushi, Cathy Cooper, and Patrick "Fatcat" Lynch
Bluescast. Left to right: Hal Merrill, Kevin Lynch, Peter LaPonte, unknown sax, and Eric Madis
This is most likely the Screaming Blue Jays (Chris Stevens' band). Left to right: Irv Kellenberger, Ron Nation, Howard Hooper, John Hodgkin, and Chris Stevens
Left to right: Dan Abernethy, Daddy Treetops, and unknown fan
Jack Cook (playing with Trouble at Home)
Kirk Tuttle (playing with Trouble at Home)
Kathy Hart and unknown fan
Kirk Tuttle and Jimi Jean
Drummer Les Hutchinson
Tom McFarland and Mike Lynch
Trouble at Home. Guitarist Russ Meltzer and John Marshall
The Rockin' Rick Band. Left to right: Les Merrihew, Rockin' Rick, Jim Mesi, Mike Lynch, and Patty Mey
Note: Do you have photos of events at the Owl cafe that you would like to share with the Jet City Blues readers? If so, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll figure out at way to publish them. Thanks!