There is something underneath the Mariposa. The Mariposa, a downtown club that shoots pounding gangsta rap and pink and purple lights into the surrounding neighborhood, doesn’t seem to notice. Amongst the crowds of guys in the same striped button-down and girls in tight dresses, there are hippies. There are outsiders wearing Morrisey t-shirts and ripped jeans floating amongst the Miami-esque gaudiness, and where are they going? Deep under the Mariposa, to the Blue Café, the hidden rock show that plays in the basement of the throbbing Pitbull video upstairs. The club, which resembles the complete antithesis of the Mariposa, is a grimy, seedy cellar with old rock show posters plastered on the walls and an attitude to match.
While the surroundings are somewhat meager for the recently-moved Blue Café, they still maintain their proud tradition of putting on shows to please all of the outliers in Long Beach who filter out of the Mariposa. Here, you can see all of Long Beach’s newest, upcoming musicians on display, from English-major folk songs to the occasional “goth night”. The stage, barely a foot off the ground from the dance floor, is set into a corner opposite a good amount of seating, and features a surprising amount of room to stand and watch the acts, or, more likely, mosh like crazy.
The bar is far from perfect, with only a passable selection and unexpected prices on the mixed drinks for the dive bar atmosphere. However, the silver lining would be that the bartenders are usually friendly, and after a few conversations can be convinced to give a little more generously. Overall, however, the half-cocked dive atmosphere and the journey through the culture-clash Mariposa means that the main draw to this bar would have to be the performing acts, which range the gambit from brilliant to “they’re joking, right?” If you’ve got a bead on a band you absolutely must see from the area, then by all means gear up for the divey Blue Café, but if you don’t have a friend begging you to see their show, this bar doesn’t have much to offer.