[This is a live blog post] It feels like spring has arrived. Although I know we will be teased with some more cold weather in the weeks ahead, I will take the pleasant weather as it comes. The sun is out and am actually baking a bit. I am in the backyard of the Irie Bean Coffee Bar sitting at one of a few picnic tables in their outdoor space. This is my second visit here and there is a lot to like about this place. So what do I like? I like that they have a grass covered berm carved out to resemble a sofa for starters. I like that it feels like you are in your own backyard here. They have a fire pit, a fountain, strung lights, tables and chairs sprinkled around, and all this is nestled in amongst a few trees and an outcropping of bamboo. The space is completely fenced in, which gives an air of privacy. It seems like it is shared by some of the neighboring shops but I would venture to guess that the Irie Bean maintains the entire space. For those that want to bring their laptop and chill for a while there is a bench and sturdy tables along the outside wall that has plenty of electrical outlets. The inside is cozy too. Ample cushy chairs and the music is playing very low.
One of the other great features that seems to be somewhat of a growing trend in the coffee shop biz is the BAR piece in Coffee bar. There are a few in town that serve up either a limited selection of wine or beer or both. Irie Bean serves up mostly beer and there are about a dozen choices on the menu. It’s great to have the choice: to chill or to get hopped up on caffeine. A limited selection of pastries and A sandwich are available to munch on.
Our first visit here was to get a post dinner coffee. You could tell that there were some salty regulars amidst the few patrons here. They were firmly ensconced at the bar, reading their paper with a cup of Joe nearby. It seemed empty for a Friday night and we decided to go check out the back to see if there was any activity. To our surprise there was a band playing on a small, awning covered stage. What a bonus. A place to sit back, relax and listen to some music where it is not so crowded that you feel like you have to arm-wrestle for a table or are standing all night. We listened to a few songs and headed out with the intention to come back. After looking at their events calender it appears that there is a live music showing of some sort about 2-3 times a week.
Today there are more people here than I thought would be on a Wednesday afternoon, but the weather is beautiful. The majority have a laptop propped open in front of them. There is an eclectic mix of folks here, but what you would expect from a South Lamar-Student-Slacker-Urban Professional type location. This is one of those places that you hope succeeds. It has the right formula. Take a look at their website for upcoming events and great pics of the shop, the outdoor spaceship thingy and the grass couch. My camera did not do it justice.
Hillary is due to get off work in about 30 minutes and is going to swing by. From here we are going to knock out a couple more scavenger hunt locations (since we are close to one of them) and then head to Cippolina for dinner.