Some coffee shops are great for getting work done, attracting freelancers and the self-employed with their ambient environments. Other coffee shops are good for catching up with friends, as they provide board games or open mic nights, and a social environment akin to a bar on Rainey Street.
Genuine Joe Coffeehouse? Both. And strangely, it works beautifully.
Set in north Austin, on the other side of Anderson Lane as Alamo Drafthouse, Genuine Joe feels like it can fit into south Austin. There’s a Skittles machine, fireplace, books to read, dinosaur toys, and board games. The walls look simultaneously like an art experiment and an art gallery, with their array of colors (yellow, green and blue, depending where you are), and art frames and photographs from local artists for sale. And the seating is diverse, ranging from two-person tables to couches inside and high tables to wooden benches outside.
The menu includes traditional drinks and food– coffee, tea, pastries, and breakfast tacos—and experimental smoothies. The Bananarama and Java Rocket are so delicious, they can probably make a certain subset of atheists believe in God. The Bananarama contains banana, peanut butter, cocoa, and the option of whey or soy protein. And the Java Rocket contains banana, iced coffee, almonds, and one of the following: vanilla, espresso or mocha.
The coffee shop appeals to everyone. There’s a room downstairs dedicated for working or renting out for a group or club. A separate room near the entrance often attracts students or employees working on projects. And the rest of the coffee shop is filled with a combination of people working and chatting, without any clashes.
Even when an open mic’s going on (the first Thursday of the month—unplugged and acoustic), or a punk band’s playing lightly over the stereo, everyone’s able to achieve what they went there to achieve.
It doesn’t make sense but it works perfectly.