COFFEE Community Cup & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & S & lt;/span & ometimes you feel the vibe of a place from the moment you walk in. CALYPSOS COFFEE is like that. This Lakeside locale -- former incarnations include Erlendson Art Glass, an international food market and Priano's spas -- radiates good karma. The funky, purposefully mismatched antiques feel like home. Erlendson's glass-walled kiln space is now a meeting area affectionately called the Smart Room. Calypsos hosts poetry slams and indie acts like Veins Daily, whose bandmember David Connell is one of many displaying his artwork there. They're kid-friendly.
They serve inexpensive, wholesome eats like bagels from Sweetwater ($1.50), vegetarian and meat sandwiches ($5-$6.50) and salads ($5-$6). They serve breakfast bites, fruit and pastries from Bakery by the Lake. All fresh.
Then there's that enticing smell of roasting coffee. A real coffeehouse (minus the cigarette smoke). Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell could walk in any minute now...
"It's all about the energy," agrees Michell Remley, who co-owns the coffeehouse and roasting company with partner Dave Ivy. With a background in industrial construction and safety (she worked at Rathdrum Power Plant), the two are banking on the experience they bring as customers.
"I'm a customer more than anything," says Remley, a Coeur d'Alene native. Like the New Orleans late-night cafes she visited with Ivy, who's from Louisiana, Calypsos will be the only joint open until midnight with -- talk about sweet -- a million-dollar lakeview patio.
What they don't know about restauranting, says Remley, they're learning on the job, with no shortage of folks offering help. An older gent who lives nearby took the photos that appear on the shop's MySpace page. A local artist did the menu boards and designed the semi-nautical logo (although named for a flower, Calypso is better known as the sea nymph who naughtily waylaid Odysseus in Greek mythology). A loosely Christian-based network has embraced them and their space, coordinating benefit concerts and other activities for programs including CASA and the food bank.
Homegrown social activism, good food and drink in a welcoming environment, and owners who are growing their business organically, intuitively and with the community in mind: This is the kind of community center everyone in Coeur d'Alene can agree on.
-- CARRIE SCOZZARO
Calypsos Coffee, 116 E. Lakeside Ave., Coeur d'Alene, is open Mon-Thu 7 am-10 pm, Fri-Sat 7 am-midnight, and Sun 7 am-8 pm. Visit www.calypsoscoffee.com or www.myspace.com/calypsoscoffeecompany, or call (208) 665-0591.
PUB By the Numbers
& lt;span class= "dropcap " & N & lt;/span & aming a restaurant after its address has emerged as the latest trend in the Spokane area food scene. We have Hangar 57 (on Regal at 57th) and 1228 Tapas (at 1228 S. Grand). Last month saw the opening of Bin 98 Twenty in the former north-side Twigs locale (at 9820 N. Nevada). Before these relative newcomers, Huckleberry's had its 9th Street Bistro (at the corner of 9th Avenue and Monroe). I'm curious whether this trend extends beyond Spokane, or if there's some kind of strictly local dynamic at work here.
Last week THE TWO-SEVEN PUBLIC HOUSE (corner of Mt. Vernon and 27th) joined the club. Sibling to the Elk, Moon Time and the Porch, the restaurant is tucked in a back corner of the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center, on the lower level, facing toward 27th Avenue (hence the name). The space has been completely redone since its previous incarnation (Laskar's) and now has the vibe of a bigger and brighter (thanks to the corner location) Elk -- including two sleek copper-topped bars.
The menu is reminiscent of the restaurant's siblings as well, with favorites like the Moon Burger, the grilled lamb sandwich and the 74th Street Gumbo (speaking of addresses) happily ensconced. But the Two-Seven is no cookie-cutter clone: A handful of new menu items unique to this location have made the cut. One such plate is the fish tacos ($10) -- two beer-battered chunks of cod, deep fried and served in flour tortillas with a nicely minimalist green cabbage slaw and a side of ranch-style pinto beans. There's also a pear and spinach salad ($7.50/whole, $4.25/half) that's new, along with sandwiches of Italian meatloaf ($8) and Jamaican pork ($9). And the weekly specials sheet features a soup, sandwich and pasta dish.
Like its siblings, the Two-Seven has a strong selection (16) of beers on tap along with plenty of bottles to keep everyone satisfied. At lunchtime, the vibe is casual and business-like, but in the evening things perk up considerably. And in a green-friendly nod, the to-go boxes are made from paper fiber rather than Styrofoam.
-- ANN M. COLFORD
The Two-Seven Public House, at 2727 S. Mt. Vernon St., serves from the menu Sun-Wed 11 am-10 pm, Thu-Sat 11 am-11 pm. Call 473-9766.