So you found yourself in the possession of a black token with white lettering that says "Rain Check: PAY TO OUR PATRON ONE DRINK Good Only At THE GOLDEN CAFE 3101 Telegraph Avenue" - wondering where it came from and what to do with it? Well, it turns there's a bit of a story in that...
November 12th, 1958
Carl Baxter, owner of the Golden Cafe bar in Oakland, recieves approval from Joseph B. Harvey, Associate Counsel of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, to sell "Rain Check" tokens that can be redeemed for a drink at a later date.
February 19th, 1959
150 rain check tokens, manufactured by the American Raincheck Company at 3421 Drew Street in Los Angeles, with the name "Golden Cafe" rendered in an art deco font, arrive in a small cardboard box at the Golden Cafe bar at 3101 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.
October 24th, 2002
Returning from his first year at Burning Man, Ari Schindler pens an account of the event and begins a mad campaign to recruit his most extraordinary friends and friends of friends to form their own theme camp, and begin the yearly tradition of coming together from around the world for a brilliant week of creative mayhem.
Victoria Vandermark, who cared for the sister-in-law of Carl Baxter, finds the box of rain check tokens, along with the approval letter from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and Googles both the address "3101 Telegraph Avenue" and the name "Golden Cafe". Noting that the address is currently a doctor's office, but the Golden Cafe theme camp is a fun bar in the spirit of Mr. Baxter's 1958 establishment, Victoria contacts the new Golden Cafe and offers to send them the rain check tokens.
July 9th, 2008
The box of rain check tokens, originally manufactured in Los Angeles and sent to Oakland in 1959, return to Los Angeles nearly 50 years later.
July 25th, 2008
Ari Schindler, stopping along the side of the Pacific Coast Highway to watch a sunset, encounters a bunch of bikers from Cincinnati, and hands them a fistful of the rain check tokens, suggesting they distribute them along their travels. This is the first of many such seeding events to follow.
August 25th, 2008 Ad Infinitum
The original rain check tokens, intended for use at the Golden Cafe in Oakland, manufactured in Los Angeles in 1959 at the request of Carl Baxter, and discovered in 2008 by Victoria Vandermark, will be honored for specialty drinks by the Golden Cafe in Black Rock City. If you are not familiar with Burning Man but possess one of these tokens, contact us and we'll hook you up!