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Best Cafe '13, '14, '15, '17, '18

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Past Events


12.23.12 - Closing Early at 5pm

We’ll be closing early tonight at 5pm.


12.22.12 - Mark Growden Trio with Ramon & Jessica + The Japonize Elephants - $10 - 7pm

Saturday, December 22 
Ramon & Jessica
8:15pm Mark Growden Trio
9:45 pm The Japonize Elephants 

Mark Growden

The Mark Growden Trio has energy that is pretty much incomprehensible. It’s a quiet, powerful energy like a lit candle that slowly builds in to an ominous bonfire. Growden’s voice is also masculine and robust, commanding his listener’s attention while also being soft an inviting - seductively luring ears and hearts. Poetic, moving, soulful, and a virtuoso with a voice to warm a room and a band to set it on fire. 

Ramon & Jessica

Ramon & Jessica, a boy-girl duo from San Francisco, write deceptively simple songs on the edge of folk and pop. On their exquisite early albums, Ramon & Jessica and Handyman’s Honeymoon, violinist Dina Maccabee and multi-instrumentalist Jesse Olsen achieved an uncanny lockstep with sophisticated harmonies, bold arrangements and subtle lyrics. Then Jesse moved to the desert, forcing the pair to conspire at a distance. With their third album Fly South, the newly reunited pair have produced their closest collaboration yet, working their signature toy piano and Casio keyboards into a rich texture provided by a number of the Bay Area’s finest musicians. Whether they are singing about love, death, the weather—or nothing at all—Ramon & Jessica will disarm your heart, and delight your mind.

The Japonize Elephants

The Japonize Elephants are an amazing enigma of style that stretches across continents and across musical theories. “In their alternate universe, bluegrass, noir cabaret, gypsy music, klezmer, movie themes and vintage Lebanese sounds all coexist simultaneously in the same song, more or less. There is no other band on the planet who sound remotely like them. This one’s a lock for one of the best albums of the year: serious Top Ten material.”

Delarue, New York Music Daily



12.21.12 - Tin Cup Serenade and Gracie & Rachel - Free - 8pm

Friday, December 21

Tin Cup Serenade

Okay, so you’re walking through downtown Oakland and it starts to rain. You look up in the sky and as you watch the rain drops fall an invisible show band starts playing to every step you walk. You start hopping and skipping like you’re a cast member in “Singin In The Rain” as the music escalates. Then you open the doors to Awaken Cafe and realize it wasn’t your personal show band at all… it was Tin Cup Serenade! Seriously that’s what these guys sound like. An amazing 1920’s esque jazz band with some SERIOUS power in their music. Whenever I listen to a song I see the reels of a movie pass by the inside of my eyelids.


Gracie & Rachel

Simply amazing and innovative. From their aesthetic to their EXTREMELY eargasmic music, Gracie & Rachel are here to dominate the music scene in style. 



12.20.12 - Naked Thursdays: Tom Lattenand & Light and the Black - Free - 7pm

Thursday, December 20th 

A series of stripped down shows hosted every Thursday by guitarist Tom Lattenand featuring local virtuosos making great music.

Tom Lattanand

Keeping alive the blood, beauty, and desire in his music and playing, Tom Lattanand expresses a unique voice as a guitarist, composer, song writer, and producer. His 2011 release, the entirely instrumental solo guitar album Stone Seat View, is a fluid, cohesive piece—combining the raw unpredictability of emotion with the felt sense of patterns in nature: rings, whorls, knots.

Lucas Schwartz - The Light and the Black

The Light and the Black (Lucas Schwartz) has a very dark and mysterious quality. Usually accompanied by dark grooving beats and long stretched out versus/choruses it will certaintly be a treat to see what happens stripped down for Naked Thursdays. 


12.19.12 - Wednesday Night Jazz Series: Michael Mullen - Free - 8pm

Wednesday, December 19

Michael Mullen

Michael Mullen loves fiddling, whether it’s playing Celtic rock in front of thousands, or just enjoying some quiet tunes with a few friends. He has drawn the bow across the strings all his life, and continues to explore new horizons and delve deeper into well-known territories as well. Don’t miss this virtuoso performance! 


12.19.12 - East Bay Green Drinks - Free - 5:30pm

Wednesday, December 19

East Bay Green Drinks

East Bay Green Drinks started in 2000, and is a monthly community and networking event for people involved in sustainable business, environmental and social causes, local and organic food, green architecture and design, media, communications, education, construction, clean energy and more.

It’s fun, it’s inspiring, it’s informal, it’s friendly, and it’s where we come together for the most important thing we need to sustain our work and community: it’s where we connect.

Join us the 3rd Weds of every month in good community, good work and good spirits!

Presented by Awaken Cafe and City slicker Farms

Since 2001, City Slicker Farms has been partnering with the West Oakland community to grow and distribute thousands of pounds of their own fresh produce. Through their Community Market Farms and Backyard Garden Programs, West Oakland residents, farmers and gardeners are growing over 30,000 pounds of produce annually.


12.18.12 - Board Game Night - Free - 7pm

Tuesday, December 18 

Every Tuesday Night! Bring your own board game or play ours.  We have Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Scategories, and Cranium.

Game Night - Awaken Cafe


12.17.12 - Closing Early for Staff Meeting - 7pm

We’ll be closing early today (Monday 12/17) at 7 pm for a staff meeting.


12.16.12 - Closing Early For Staff Party - 5pm

We will be closing early at 5 pm for a Staff Holiday Party.


12.15.12 - The New Thoreaus & Bigelow's Treehouse - $5 - 8pm

Friday, December 15

The New Thoreaus

“The New Thoreaus are one of the few bands that can appeal to a crowd full of traditionalists AND folks who like a little something different.  Think Tom Waits meets NOLA’s Preservation Hall Jazz Band.”—Mike Bond, The Bottleneck Cafe Radio Show 

The New Thoreaus are an indie-folk band with a bluegrass bent.  They combine, blues, jazz, and good old rock and roll to create a unique, genre-defying sound. Since 2008, they’ve been rocking their diverse mix of original tunes all over the San Francisco Bay Area.   The band features Sara Heller on trumpet, Chris Bloomfield on cello, Lauren Hoernig on the upright bass, Laurence Rodman on mandolin and guitar, and Ian Patton on banjo, guitar and harmonica.  

Bigelow’s Treehouse

Organic and bluesy rhythms mingled with rock and funk have made Bigelow’s Treehouse’s name and given it’s claim to fame as the self-proclaimed “fourth funkiest band in America”

Years of live performance have imbued the band with the mojo to turn out energetic dance & rock and get the party nice & sweaty.