Friday, August 31, 2012

Mojo's, 856 10th Street, Arcata, CA

Capacity 800

Mojos was a pretty cool club — THE club in Humboldt at that time.

Mojo's was located in the building that previously had housed the Arcata Bowl when it was on 10th street between H and I Streets.

The dance floor was still composed of the original hardwood floors from the bowling alley and even included the little inlayed arrows that are found on bowling lanes.
Capacity was in the neighborhood of 800 people and was the last sizeable dance floor/music venue in Arcata.
It was adjoining a Mexican Restaurant called The Red Pepper, both of which went out of business around 1985.
Mojos had been a musical institution in Arcata prior to its closing, but the Jerry Garcia Band shows have always locally been the infamous shows from the venue.
The Mojos building had a few brief stints as other venues (Toppers 856 Club in 1986 and ??...) - nothing had really changed other then the name but they never pulled off the music scene that Mojos had.

The buildings were sold around 1987 to an ex-Oakland Raider (Mario Celotto) who started the Humboldt Brewery in the building that previously had housed the Red Pepper.  They remodeled Mojos and reopened it as The International Beer Garden, under which it was operated until the early 1990's.  The venue was poorly managed by the brewery and hence not seen as a "money maker", so they sadly gutted the building, including the bowling lane floors, and turned it into a production facility for their low quality micro brew.  Sadly this was the death of the last sizeable dance hall in Arcata and the local music scene has suffered ever since.

Arcata's music scene has never been the same since Mojos closed and once the Humboldt Brewery gutted the building, they removed the last hope of a venue of this size and type ever occurring in Arcata again...many old-time Arcatans refuse to patronize this brewery for this reason (not to mention their beer has consistently been poor since they opened).  A sadly lost music scene and an almost forgotten venue that housed the last Jerry Garcia Band shows in Arcata.

Humboldt Brews in Arcata used to have a pole in the middle of their stage. If you have been in for a brew lately than you have noticed that not only is the pole gone, but the stage has completely relocated to the back of the bar in a much needed remodel.

Jerry performed here on
3/18/82 Jerry Garcia Band
3/19/82 Jerry Garcia Band


  1. A fond memory of Mojo's was Burning Spear shouting out a thank you to a local Rastaman by saying they did a chant in their bus while travelling to Arcata and then they did it for us with full percussion: Jo-mo Mo-Jo Jo-mo Mo-Jo...

    BTW, there was a large dance floor for years as the Red Pepper before it was Mojos.

  2. "Low quality brews"? Not while Mario owned it. It sucks now since it was gobbled up by Interbrew or one of the other multi-nationals, and has been brewed in SoCal for years. We sure had a helluva lot of business from those old-time locals you say stayed away. Smells suspiciously like Bad Bob Ornelas' revisionist propaganda.

    1. Actually, there was a period of time when Humboldt Brewery had bacterial contamination problems which affected the beer. It was very difficult to find the source of the bacteria. Consultants were brought in, and eventually it got straightened out.

  3. Martino, do you have any photos of Mojo's? My email is

  4. 3/19/82 - My 25th birthday show! I lived behind Mojo's across a vacant lot and across the street in an old rundown Victorian called the Pythian Castle (now all fixed up and gentrified, but nice). During the break, My friend Joe and I headed to my place for our own break. When we went back, we just went through the vacant lot to Mojo's back door. Out there having a smoke was Jerry. We joined in and hung out for a few - no big deal (yeah, it was). After 5 minutes or so he said, "hey fellas, I gotta go, take care." It was the best birthday present ever! We didn't bug him and shake hands and pour our endless praise all over him - we just hung out and had a smoke with some dude out back for a few. I think he appreciated that we gave him a break, too. Good vibes to say the least.

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