Intimate shows at 318 Cafe

3-4 times a week, musicians perform in a place that ‘feels like home’


Shows are small and intimate at the 318 Cafe (318 Water St., Excelsior) - and that’s just how co-owner Matt Muller wants it.
He and Suzie Reed of Bloomington purchased the cafe from Kate and Doug Bailey two years ago. It was a bit of a leap for the daytime mechanic and nighttime musician. Muller and Reed had initially told the Baileys that they weren’t interested in buying the cafe. “They kept coming back,” recalled Muller. “They wanted us to have it.”
Muller and Reed had met at the 318 (just as Kate and Doug had). He was performing there in 2004 and she was a server. After talking it over for about a year, they decided it was the right step forward for them.
They’re the third owners of the cafe.
So far, 2023 is shaping up to be their busiest. They’ve got shows most Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On the line-up are Michael Monroe, Kevin Kling and Richard Kriehn, GB Leighton, the Daisy Dillman Band Reunion Show and many more.
Muller isn’t the only family member to perform on the small stage. “My daughters played here,” he remarked. “It’s like my living room.”
Food and drinks at the 318 are homemade. Reed’s daughter makes the syrups they use in beverages.
It isn’t the money that brings high-quality musicians into the 318, Muller pointed out. There are only 60 seats. They come for the sound and the audience. “The sound in here is some of the best in town,” said Muller.
“It’s a listening room. During the shows people don’t talk.
“There are musicians who play a lot who find it a little nerve-wracking to play here.”
He added, “We have a sweet little place here that ‘feels like home’ to many musicians and customers alike.”


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