Hotel Cafe has all of the qualities of a great venue: dim lighting, stiff drinks, attractive people due to the dim lighting, good décor and great music that sounds good.
I recently saw the Barr Brothers perform there. Brad Barr, the singer, asked the audience if anyone by any chance had a guitar slide that he could use. A guy close to the front stood up and handed one to him. He played the song with the slide and then returned it to the owner. He explained after the song that normally when he asks that question – no one does – and he gets to look cool by using his lighter to play the song. I felt cool just by association even though I didn’t know the guy, nor do I own a slide myself. But still.
I also love that the entrance is in the alley and that they put a Christmas tree up around the holidays.