Blackwater Cafe closing

The Blackwater Cafe, a funky music venue, coffee shop and community gathering spot in Stockton for 31 years, closed today.

“Today is our last day,” Linda Frantz Anderson, in her sixth year of operating the cafe, said via text message. “It’s sad, but just another sign of the times.”

Frantz, whose lease runs until October, had indicated on Aug. 3 that closing the business was a possibility, but she was seeking assistance and hoped to keep the cafe open least least until then.

“I’m not too humble to ask for help,” she told the Record on Aug. 9. “I love the cafe. I love what it can do in the community. That’s always been my goal. You can only put so much in before you get something back out.”

A scheduled Saturday show by Columbia’s Thick Soup has been canceled along with future concerts. Frantz’s cafe also had held a weekly jazz jam session, children’s music by the Afternaps, an open-mic night and art and painting activities. She also helped organize the annual Yosemite Street Festival.

The Blackwater, at 912 N. Yosemite St., has been a comfortable hangout and favored venue for acoustic musicians since 1981, when Robert Heggen opened it.

It was an early home-away-from-home for Sacramento’s Cake; singer-songwriter Dirk Hamilton’s favorite place to play; a frequent stop for Oakland’s Caliban; and the site of the first show by Fresno’s Mofo Party Band.

“Rest in Peace Blackwater Cafe,” Wendi Maxwell wrote in an e-mail. “We have long memories of nights at the cafe, and memories of street fairs full of dancing happy children from the neighborhood.”

Maxwell, who sings jazz, had been scheduled to play at the cafe on Sept. 6.

It’s not known who will assume management of the business, or whether music will remain on the menu.


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