Close this search box.

well established and here for you

independently owned and operated since 1977

Mondays at the Mews

Image: The New Beach Band

Coffeehouse Celebrates 25 Years

It was a quiet Monday night with nothing particularly remarkable about the weather or news about town for a winter evening.  The open mic Coffeehouse at the Mews was about to begin. Singer-songwriters from around the Cape signed up to present new work or a cover of a favorite song, as did a few poets eager to share their latest verse. A pleasant woman in her sixties with a friendly smile asked if she could read a short excerpt from a memoir she was working on.  Upon taking to the small stage she adjusted the microphone and introduced herself. She was Katherine Ann Powers and she had been a 1960s radical and a fugitive for 23 years and was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list after participating in a bank robbery in Brighton where a Boston police officer was killed.

The room was silent. She certainly had everyone’s attention.

Christine Pedi

For 25 years Coffeehouse at the Mews has provided a space in Provincetown for experimentation, welcoming everything from the traditional musician and writer to the strange and bizarre to the surprising. A beloved winter tradition, the Coffeehouse is finishing up its 25th season, in particular with two special feature performances. As has been the case over the years, each open mic night is punctuated with an invited performer. But for the 25th season co-founders Peter Donnelly, who is also the host, and Ron Robin, owner of the Mews, solicitinged sponsors to bring in acts the Coffeehouse traditionally could not afford.

“Just about every season is good, but this one has been particularly good,” says Donnelly. “The featured acts are always a big draw and bring up the professionalism of the room. The open mic brings in community and an element of surprise with all the various acts that come in each week.”

Boston-based singer-songwriter Cosy Sheridan’s featured performance on the 18th is followed by the Cape Cod band The Daggers, one of the special 25th anniversary features, followed by Broadway actress, cabaret star, and comedian Christine Pedi on May 2, with the final Coffeehouse of the season closing with The New Beach Band.  All of those nights will of course have the open mic portion of the evening, full of music.

The Daggers

“Unlike most open mics we actually have a steady audience,” says Donnelly. “It’s not just performers performing for a room full of other performers waiting to go on stage. The rewarding thing is people come in for years wanting to perform and finally do it and succeed. And then you have some people who do it and then realize, ‘Oh. I can’t sing,’ and never do it again because it’s not their thing. But it’s something they wouldn’t have realized if they never took the risk. You have to take risks. And we provide a safe space for that.”

Donnelly estimates that over the past 25 seasons there have been 10,000 individual performances that have included everything from a cooking demonstration to West End Wendy Wendell yodeling to the late street performer Ellie singing Frank Sinatra. Celebrities also pop by from time to time, and over the years the corner stage has hosted Norman Mailer, Sebastian Junger reading portions of a work-in-progress that later became The Perfect Storm, a young Ryan Landry doing comedic pieces reading the Mews menu or the National Enquirer, and Kate Clinton administrationworking on new material.  Just a few weeks ago political comedian Jimmy Tingle delighted the audience with new work provided by all the ripe-for-comedy material coming out of the Presidential election campaigns thus far.

However, what is at the core of Coffeehouse are those musicians that frequent the Mews developing their own followings and creating a musical life of their own. Chev Hardy, Frank Poranski, and Brenda Evans are just a few that Coffeehouse can claim as being native sons and daughters, musically. It’s a rare and difficult feat to maintain an institution for 25 years and have it not only be relevant, but also flourishing.

“It’s just community,” says Robin explaining the Coffeehouse’s success. “It’s like a get together. It’s something to do on a winter’s night, a place you can go and hear some good music. A place that you can go see musicians grow. That’s what’s exciting, to see these performers, people from a 15-year-old high school kid to people in their eighties doing their own material. It’s an exciting platform to have in town for people to be able to do something like that.”

Coffeehouse at the Mews is every Monday starting at 7 p.m. from November through mid-May at the Mews Restaurant and Cafe, 429 Commercial St., Provincetown. Reservations are strongly recommended for table seating. Standing room is available. There is a $3 suggested donation, which benefits the Provincetown Theater and Outermost Community Radio – 92.1 WOMR. For more information call 508.487.1500 or visit

Coming Up at Coffeehouse

  • April 18 – Cosy Sheridan

  • April 25 – The Daggers

  • May 2 – Christine Pedi

  • May 9 – Final Night of the Season: The New Beach Band

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter

Scroll to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

Graphic Artist

Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

Keep in touch

Fill in your details and I will get back to you in no time.

Phone: + 1 508-487-1000 ext 6
[email protected] 14 Center St. Provincetown MA, 02657