Berkeley Cafe

★★★☆☆
  • 217 W Martin St

    Raleigh, NC 27601

    Map & Directions
  • 919-821-0777

3.0 9
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Went last night (Wednesday) for Open Mic night. Didn't know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised! Lots of good local talent there. Good variety of seating. Outdoor patio. All in all a friendly place, though a bit of a dive and prepare to come home smelling like an ash tray--had to wash my pillow case this morning!!!

2
★★★★☆

Went last night (Wednesday) for Open Mic night. Didn't know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised! Lots of good local talent there. Good variety of seating. Outdoor patio. All in all a friendly place, though a bit of a dive and prepare to come home smelling like an ash tray--had to wash my pillow case this morning!!!

Pros: No cover, good live music, diverse crowd

Cons: Smoky, $3 PBR's?

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The Berkeley Cafe is home of the blues in Raleigh NC. Prices are average, the crowd is an "always been here" sort of crowd except for some nights when there are outside bands who come to play. Very nice club layout.

4
★★★★☆

The Berkeley Cafe is home of the blues in Raleigh NC. Prices are average, the crowd is an "always been here" sort of crowd except for some nights when there are outside bands who come to play. Very nice club layout.

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Had a great time at the Fred Eaglesmith show on 5/31/08. I didn't think it was a dive at all. The music area is small, and for act that requires one to listen closely (rather than dance), it would be good if there were a few more chairs.

They serve a variety of "fun food" items in the evening and they looked really good. If you want a table, it is a good idea to be there when the doors open.

The place was clean, the mens room was clean.

I'm looking forward to returning when they book another act of the caliber of Fred Eaglesmith.

2
★★★★☆

Had a great time at the Fred Eaglesmith show on 5/31/08. I didn't think it was a dive at all. The music area is small, and for act that requires one to listen closely (rather than dance), it would be good if there were a few more chairs.

They serve a variety of "fun food" items in the evening and they looked really good. If you want a table, it is a good idea to be there when the doors open.

The place was clean, the mens room was clean.

I'm looking forward to returning when they book another act of the caliber of Fred Eaglesmith.

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I have traveled the US extensively and visited clubs all over. There are landfills that dont have as much trash as this place. The entertainment sucked, and it a dive in the true sense of the word. Any one who likes this place carries all their taste in the mouth and it is bad.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I have traveled the US extensively and visited clubs all over. There are landfills that dont have as much trash as this place. The entertainment sucked, and it a dive in the true sense of the word. Any one who likes this place carries all their taste in the mouth and it is bad.

Pros: good drinks

Cons: everything

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Yes middle school, where the students are awkward, the teachers don't want to be there so they take it out on the students, and nobody has a good time for three years. If this is the experience you are looking for in a bar, then the Berkeley cafe is for you! The crowd was stiff and uncomfortable, and the staff seemed more interested in making sure everyone was standing in line and facing forward than they were in creating a fun atmosphere where people could have a good time. I actually saw a bouncer break two girls up because they were being too amorous with each other! What an idiot! I'm not a regular at trendy clubs or bars, I usually prefer back-alley places and rock clubs, but that's because those places are usually more laidback and friendly. The Berkeley cafe was as strict and stuffy as a country club luncheon, and as dilapidated and poorly stocked as a missisippi juke joint. Berkeley manages to offer the worst of both worlds, go anywhere else to find a better time.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Yes middle school, where the students are awkward, the teachers don't want to be there so they take it out on the students, and nobody has a good time for three years. If this is the experience you are looking for in a bar, then the Berkeley cafe is for you! The crowd was stiff and uncomfortable, and the staff seemed more interested in making sure everyone was standing in line and facing forward than they were in creating a fun atmosphere where people could have a good time. I actually saw a bouncer break two girls up because they were being too amorous with each other! What an idiot! I'm not a regular at trendy clubs or bars, I usually prefer back-alley places and rock clubs, but that's because those places are usually more laidback and friendly. The Berkeley cafe was as strict and stuffy as a country club luncheon, and as dilapidated and poorly stocked as a missisippi juke joint. Berkeley manages to offer the worst of both worlds, go anywhere else to find a better time.

Pros: your wallet is much lighter afterwards

Cons: even the pros are cons

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So my friends and I went to Metal Massacre I here and it SUCKED. There was ONE good band, which would have made it all worth it - but the service there was awful. AWFUL. I had been here during high school to watch my friends play, at it was a lot of fun, but the bartenders checked ID EVERY TIME even though I had a wristband and the bouncers were just out looking to catch people. Needless to say, we left early...and we won't be back again. If you want a place that's fun and laidback, then this is not it.

0
★☆☆☆☆

So my friends and I went to Metal Massacre I here and it SUCKED. There was ONE good band, which would have made it all worth it - but the service there was awful. AWFUL. I had been here during high school to watch my friends play, at it was a lot of fun, but the bartenders checked ID EVERY TIME even though I had a wristband and the bouncers were just out looking to catch people. Needless to say, we left early...and we won't be back again. If you want a place that's fun and laidback, then this is not it.

Pros: hot bartender??

Cons: location is tough to find, bouncers are overzealous

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best place to mingle with the locals in the music scene as well younger college folk, sposnors wonderful groups who come in a turn the place out!

2
★★★★☆

best place to mingle with the locals in the music scene as well younger college folk, sposnors wonderful groups who come in a turn the place out!

Pros: 2 sided club, great staff, great music

Cons: tough to find, really hard to find

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The Berkeley is not really known for their quality live music, although they have bands a few times a week. Some of the bands are good, some are not. The booking seems to be the biggest problem with the live music. Their open mic night is always packed and sometimes is a great experience. It's hit and miss, but worth the trip. The food at the restaurant side is okay, mainly small grill type food. But, at 1 am, that's all you need.

2
★★★★☆

The Berkeley is not really known for their quality live music, although they have bands a few times a week. Some of the bands are good, some are not. The booking seems to be the biggest problem with the live music. Their open mic night is always packed and sometimes is a great experience. It's hit and miss, but worth the trip. The food at the restaurant side is okay, mainly small grill type food. But, at 1 am, that's all you need.

Pros: Restaurant

Cons: Only Average Sound

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The Berkley is a cool place. It is right downtown, has a stage where good and bad local bands play, and has a bit of a different crowd than other raleigh night spots. If you want a underground but trendy atmosphere that is pretty laid back...go to the berkley.

2
★★★★☆

The Berkley is a cool place. It is right downtown, has a stage where good and bad local bands play, and has a bit of a different crowd than other raleigh night spots. If you want a underground but trendy atmosphere that is pretty laid back...go to the berkley.

 

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