The Beat goes on
The newest addition to our coffeehouse review series houses diverse patrons, books and records
On an early Wednesday morning I find myself at The Beat Coffeehouse (and Record Store), located within the downtown conglomerate that is east Fremont Street, one of the integral spots contributing to (or perhaps, being contributed to) the revival of downtown Las Vegas.
A plethora of characters are abound: The downtown business people plugging away relentlessly on their MacBook Air, double espresso in close reach; or the hipstery college students donned in colorful wayferers, one who brought along a puppy; the artsy poetic types away in a corner, pen and paper in hand; groups of people deep into discussion; and me, soaking it all in to the soundtrack of Herbie Hancock’s post-bop beats.
Sure, there may not be towering skyscrapers out the window, or the blistering buzz of city traffic. Instead my view is treated to the decaying remnants of old Las Vegas, the occasional deadbeat, the sporadic city slicker or the confused tourist. More than anything, it feels like a downtown coffeehouse should, albeit missing some typical downtown elements.
While the coffee and drinks menu is somewhat lamentable — offering but a few coffee staples, the odd smoothie, or an Italian soda — the edibles make up for it, at least a little.
I went with a mocha — a standard but trusted companion of mine, especially on a morning like this — and since I wasn’t quite in the mood for breakfast, a beef brisket sandwich.
The mocha was pretty good — nothing out of the ordinary (but is it ever?), and the beef brisket was delicious, especially with the addition of a pretzel bun and a tasty, tangy mustard.
The record section (yes, vinyl only), is primarily composed of ‘60s and ‘70s rock and jazz. You won’t find Jack White or the Alabama Shakes’ latest — but you can pick up Miles Davis’ classic Bitches Brew or Black Sabbath’s Paranoid.
Of course the independent coffee house staple bookcase is also present, containing a slew of textbooks, a collection of Pulitzer Prize winning photographs and several copies of “4 Essentials of Entrepreneurial Thinking” (Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is a regular here) among others.
At 7 p.m. every night, the quaint, quiet coffee shop transforms into a bar, and features a variety of open mic nights, meetups and more. While I have yet to visit during the nightly escapades, I’ll definitely stop by next time.
If you want a unique spot to meet up with your study group, to hang out and talk with friends, or just enjoy the atmosphere, well then look no further — The Beat Coffeehouse has your needs met.