An attitude of gratitude

’Tis the season to be grateful.

Or so we’re reminded, with visions of tryptophan-induced snoozing in an overstuffed Robert Crumb-style easy chair in front of a roaring fire, with a television blaring football games, punctuated by all those swell holiday-themed ads. Gather strength through rest, gentle reader, for you must begin to go shopping in earnest the following day.

I’m grateful for a lot of things. I’m grateful for the way November started, specifically what happened that first Tuesday. I’m also grateful that the True Love Coffeehouse opened last week in new digs at 2315 K Street.

While the trend inside the downtown-Midtown grid may be toward increasing glitz, not everyone prefers this throwback to disco-era elegance—the sort of dress-code snobbery and expense-account-priced menu fare may be swell for the sort of people our current governor is bringing to town, but it leaves many of us old bicycle-friendly hippies, punks and other arty types out in the cold.

<What was great about the old True Love, which opened a block away on J Street in early 2001 and closed in August of 2004 when the café lost its lease, was that it was the closest thing to a public house this town has seen. It was a place where the young and old could gather at night, listen to music or just hang out and talk. The list of flavored coffee drinks was extensive, the menu was simple but hearty, and the ambience was comfortably funky. And you could go hear a lot of fine music, whether by our excellent local talent pool or by touring national acts.</p>

Finally, the True Love is open, and it’s apparent that proprietors Kevin and Allyson Seconds have done a fine job in re-creating the previous club’s vibe. No, there isn’t a stage yet; there’s only a small room on the ground floor, which featured Anton Barbeau and Bobby Jordan playing sets on Wednesday, the opening night. (Barbeau will move his Monday-night residency to the True Love from the recently shuttered Red Square on Alhambra Boulevard.) Apparently there’s a performance space upstairs, but it can’t open until the club provides a wheelchair lift, which costs around $20k.

There’s a huge covered patio in the back, too, and plenty of bike racks up front.

When I first moved to town, I lived upstairs from what’s now the Golden Bear across the street. Then, it was a deli, and after I moved it became Drago’s, which, as Dana Gumbiner asserts, was the genesis for the local café culture that evolved into True Love. And Allyson and Kevin were my neighbors next door, above what’s now Rick’s Dessert Diner. Welcome back to K Street.

One more reason to be grateful: Big Mike Balma is hosting “Blues Guitar Showdown III” on Sunday, November 26, at the Sacramento Horsemen’s Club, 3200 Longview Drive (off Watt Ave. between Business 80 and I-80). This year’s bout will feature Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Joe Louis Walker & the Boss Talkers and Chris Cain. The show starts at 2 p.m. (for ticket prices check, and there’s plenty of great food—for those of you who aren’t sick of the stuff. And it’s more fun than going shopping, right?