Assistant News Editor
After the song “YMCA” is over, on comes “In the Navy.” That’s when I begin to wonder if the people here at the Coffee House Café in downtown Salem have a strange liking for the Village People. I guess that’s for them to know and for me to find out. In any case, I’m here sipping on my usual hot chocolate and nibbling my cookie.
Aside from being irked by the name “Coffee House Café” (just pick one, either Coffee House or Café.), I have to admit that I really enjoy this place. After my initial visit three years ago, I avoided it like the plague because it had a mangy carpet, dark and dirty walls, unfriendly lighting and a young crowd of wannabe punks and rockers.
That has all changed. Over the last few years, the Coffee House Café has opened its doors to a wider crowd, drawing in local artists, musicians, ‘70s revolution hippies, authors, and general folk. The carpet has been replaced with a dark honey-colored wood floor, the walls have been painted a soft cheesecake and luminous red and adorned with unique and expressive art, and the lighting is now soft and inviting.
This fresh and relaxing atmosphere offers a good space for studying, hanging out or simply listening to a local band. The coffee is 100 percent organic, locally roasted in the traditional Italian style. Vegetarian food is offered, as well as scrumptious pastries.
If you are an aspiring artist or musician, the Coffee House Café may be open to featuring you. The venue’s music and art manager is Sara Cook.
Two more reasons to try out this place: free wireless internet and the “Rusty Bucket,” an amazing espresso, caramel, vanilla, & toffee concoction that comes hot, iced or frozen.