LA CAVE grew from its humble beginnings as a coffeehouse folk club on Euclid Avenue to become one of Cleveland's most memorable and influential ROCK 'N' ROLL clubs.
In early 1962, partners Nelson Karl, Lee Weiss, and Stan Heilburn opened La Cave de Cafe as a coffee house in a 200-seat basement previously occupied by a pool hall. However, their business survived for only a few months. Stan Kain then approached the partners and proposed to revitalize La Cave by bringing in known folk acts to perform. They agreed, placing the business in Kain's hands and making him one of the partners. The first well-known act brought to La Cave by Kain was the African-American folk singer Josh White, whose performances sold out for three straight days. In those early folk days, La Cave presented Simon & Garfunkel, Gordon Lightfoot, Buffy Sainte Marie, Jose Feliciano, Tom Rush, Ian and Sylvia, Phil Ochs, Janis Ian, Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins, Odetta, Tim Buckley, and Tom Paxton. As the music of the 1960s evolved, so did La Cave. Kain introduced local audiences to the rock 'n' roll music of Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, the Youngbloods, the Butterfield Blues Band, the Jeff Beck Group featuring Rod Stewart, Canned Heat, the Fugs, the Hello People, Iron Butterfly, Terry Knight & The Pack, the Stone Poneys, the Velvet Underground, Blood Sweat & Tears, and Pacific Gas & Electric. La Cave's long stairway to the downstairs room, the grubbiness of the decor, and the mismatched tables and chairs created the perfect atmosphere for the explosion of progressive rock 'n' roll in Cleveland.
Stan Kain served as the manager of the club for six years, booking the music acts and handling the hiring. Larry Bruner took over as manager for the last year of La Cave's existence. The club's demise was caused by long-term debts, a decline of ticket sales, and legal troubles. La Cave officially closed its doors in July 1969.