By Maureen Werther
A sold-out crowd celebrated the long-awaited re-opening of the legendary Caffè Lena at 47 Phila St. in Saratoga Springs on Friday, Dec. 30. The first concert in the newly renovated space featured the one-man band of Matt Lorenz, the Suitcase Junket. In honor of its re-opening, the evening ended with musical tributes to Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez.
Caffè Lena holds the distinction of being the longest continuously running coffeehouse in America. They have been showcasing great folk artists for 56 years, putting on 16,000 shows since 1960, with 35,000 artists at the same iconic venue since opening there in 1960.
It’s been six months since Caffè Lena closed its doors to receive a log-awaited facelift that included upgrades. A successful $2 million fundraising campaign, including a philanthropic partnership with Bonacio Construcition, made the renovation and expansion possible. The result is a more spacious concert venue with seating increased from 85 to 110; along with a new, modernized kitchen, a green room and administrative offices.