Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Vince Guaraldi's Last Gig Site (Butterfield's) All Boarded Up

Since I am working in Menlo Park this week, I went by the site of Butterfield's Nightclub on the way home.  It's the club where the Vince Guaraldi Trio played its last gig on February 6, 1976.  Guaraldi died between sets in his room at the Red Cottage Inn, right next door to the club, ostensibly of a heart attack.

I visited the site a year ago and posted my thoughts at this link.  At that time, Gaylord's Indian Restaurant had just closed business at the site and the place was beginning to look shabby.  Today, however, I noticed that no other business has used the site in the past year:  Gaylord's sign is still on the awning, and now all the windows and doors have been boarded up.

I have added three pictures I took late this afternoon.  The boards over the windows and doors are pretty obvious.  This is not a good sign...will the old Butterfield's site be torn down?

With the terrible economy and California's extreme anti-business policies, it would be an uphill battle to get this old building renovated and back to productive use.  One can only hope.

UPDATE: You can view the site of Butterfield's Nightclub using Google Earth or Google Maps. Go to Google Maps and enter the address of Butterfield's, 1706 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA.  You can view Butterfield's (Gaylord's India Restaurant in its latest incarnation) from an aerial view or also from a street view.  The street view can be manipulated so you can see all sides of the building and how it relates to the Red Coach Inn.

Bottom photo:  This was the front entrance, under an awning, to Butterfield's.

UPDATE 2:  I googled the street address of the building and found mention of it at the Menlo Park website.  Apparently, the owners of the building intend to demolish it and replace it with a two-story medical office building.  Read it here.

UPDATE 3:  A reader writes to say the plan to demolish the building fell through for lack of financing:
I found your tribute to Vince Guaraldi. Good job! I work in the area, and as of today (7/7/2010), the building where Butterfield's nightclub was is still boarded up. I talked with the owner of the Red Cottage Inn, which is a totally separate property, and she said the building (formerly Gaylord India Restaurant) was planned to be replaced with a medical building, but the owner couldn't get the funds together, so the project was scrapped, and the bank owns the building now, and currently there are no plans for it.


UPDATE 4:  Butterfield's has been demolished (8/11/2010).  Reader JD works in Menlo Park and has regularly checked the site.  JD writes:
Found your post, "Vince Guaraldi's Last Gig Site (Butterfield's) All Boarded Up." Since I'm in Menlo Park quite a lot, I stopped by Wednesday to see if anything had changed. Oh, it has. Butterfield's is gone. Photo attached.

Had to shoot through the temporary construction fence. Looks like this is pretty fresh demolition, since the heavy gear is still on site.

And so it goes.


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