Article by Josh Schiebelhut | Images by Victoria Voss
Take a step inside the corner shop across the street from the Ritz and caddy-corner from the Discovery Museum, on the corner of F and 3rd street. As the door opens, allow your eyes to drink in the setting before you. It feels as if Wes Anderson wrote the children’s book “Goodnight Moon” in a British study, and you can’t help but find yourself sucked in to this fresh and relatively new spot in Old Town.
This quaint and cozy coffee shop will do nothing less than make you feel at home, or at least feel as if you’re drinking a cup of joe in your best friend’s living room. Decorated with smart lampshades, toy figurines, and creative local art that (at least while the author visited) uses repurposed scrap wood and broken skateboards as canvas, the small, cozy space offers a feast for the eyes. As for a comfy place to rest your rump, the mismatched sofas and velvety armchairs only help to add to this juxtaposed sense of bohemian comfort.
While you sip your coffee, chai, or whatever happens to be on special for the night, you may notice the many boardgames and books, both classic and contemporary, on the end tables. It seems as if everything is inviting you to stay for a while longer. As you consider how to pass the time, listen to the eclectic playlist belting out hits such as the cover of “Dear Prudence” by Siouxsie and the Banshees, followed by “Wave of Mutilation” by none other than the legendary and ever-so-nostalgic Pixies. As the tunes weave their way in and out of your ears and memories, you’ll feel your mood lighten as the twinkle lights and antique ceiling fixtures give a soft glow on the candid scenes unfolding before you.
Strangers strike up conversation with fellow strangers at the bar at the opposite end of the room from the door, which is but one distinct piece of aesthetic that makes this location unique from other coffee shops in the area. Behind the bar you can see an old-school coffee grinder and shelves replete with all the amenities necessary for a great cup of coffee. Attending the bar is none other than the owner and sole proprietor, Katie Hennessy, warm with a welcoming glow.
You can’t help but somehow feel invited to take a seat and enjoy the lovely drinks and atmosphere that help make her coffee shop even more distinct from the rest. This being the first brick-and-mortar business she’s owned and managed, Katie takes great care in curating the decorations, music, and atmosphere, while making sure her customers arrive feeling welcomed and leave feeling satisfied.
A few of her drinks really stand out from the usuals being offered at other local cafés. “Travelers really love the flat white, and they’re excited when they know that I can make them,” she says. And make them well she does. ‘Flat whites’, as they’re known to people around the world, are cappuccinos with the foam incorporated into the rest of the drink, which is something a Starbucks employee may raise their eyebrows at if you were to ask them for it.
Other drinks of notable mention are all beautifully crafted by Katie herself. Everything from earl grey hot cocoas to lavender honey lattes to more conventional hand-pulled espressos make their toasty way to welcoming cold hands. Katie takes the time to see what is available in the community and brews to her heart’s content. For instance, even though the Christmas season is now months behind us, she still makes egg nog lattes (emphasizing that she uses actual egg nog, saying, “forget those artificial ‘nog flavored’ syrups!”), and will continue to do so until stores in the area stop carrying the organic version of the yuletide cream.
While the atmosphere, service, and drinks are nothing short of wonderful, planned future events sound just as eccentric and awesome as what’s been mentioned above. One idea for a regular event sounds as fun as it does ridiculous: Karaoke, while not spectacular on its own, becomes a whole new game when it’s judged by three panel members (all of whom will happen to be named Chris). It’s tough to imagine a night where hilarity doesn’t ensue when this is put on. And the ideas won’t stop there; surely Katie will pull more novel and fresh pastimes from her sleeves as the time goes on.
However, despite the welcoming energy and inviting ambiance, without a flashy sign or window paint, this charismatic location may be easy to miss in the hustle and bustle of Old Town. So, if you’re looking to scope this place out for yourself, just remember it’s in the same intersection as The Ritz, Mazzotti’s, and the Discovery Museum (which is at the time of this publishing undergoing drastic renovations). That will put you at the crossings of F and 3rd street in the historic Old Town of Eureka. The hours are from 8:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, 10 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Saturday, and they are closed on Sunday.
So come because you want a good morning or afternoon with friends. Stop by because you want a respite from the cold and the rain. Mosey on through because the energy and the atmosphere offers retreat from the daily grind. But most of all, come by Because Coffee.