Jan. 23 2013 03:17 PM

New College Area venue is bringing in local rap, reggae acts

Pearl Ayon and Wayne Scherer
Photo by Peter Holslin

San Diego may have lost two concert venues recently, but hip-hop and reggae fans have a newish haunt to scope out: Headquarters Cafe, a coffeehouse at 5841 El Cajon Blvd. in the College Area.

With a laid-back, left-wing vibe, the modest-sized café has comfy couches, organic coffee, hookahs and vegetarian paninis named after revolutionaries and artists like Che Guevara and Frida Kahlo. Since opening in August, it's host a handful of shows a month, mostly featuring hip-hop and reggae acts.

Owners Pearl Ayon and Wayne Scherer say they're starting a weekly schedule of events in early February, with an open-mic on Thursdays, hip-hop and reggae on Fridays and R&B on Saturdays, with spoken-word events mixed in. They plan to eventually get a license to sell beer and wine.

The space has a simple sound system and a folding stage. Lately, producers Beatsmith Resist and Aki Kharmicel have put on shows for a DJ / producer series called "The Beat Bombardment." Rappers Odessa Kane, Black Mikey and Aki Kharmicel will play a benefit show for an orphanage in Tijuana on Friday, Jan. 25.

Scherer and Ayon say they want to build a hub for activists, musicians and other progressives.

"The French Revolution manifested out of a café," Scherer says. "This is our way to get out that energy, you know? Contribute, and hopefully make a living at it."

Email peterh@sdcitybeat.com or follow him on Twitter at @peterholslin.


See all events on Friday, Nov 27