Dude, misnomer. I was hoping for a sign that said, “Come with Folgers…leave with Yergacheffe.” But no deal.
The Coffee Exchange is not a proper coffee shop. For one thing, the big-screen TVs run Fox News Network; for another, the radio station plays hard-rock oldies via The Eagle. Had I asked for soy milk, the halter-top wearing, sunglass-wearing, highlighted redhead would have laughed in my face. (Not that I ask for soy, mind you, but she is obviously very suspicious of the Crocs.) The liquor is set up like the place is a bar, and martini glasses dangle from the corrogated tin rack.
The place is next to Southside Johnny’s and across the street from a porn shop. The interior is corrogated tin on one side and brick and old barnwood on the other, with these giant doors that look like they open up onto the bar of a Saturday night.
I sit in a beat-up old recliner and check out the magazines: Men’s Health, Interview (Brad Pitt), In the American West. The sign below the individually pre-wrapped pastries reads, “CHOCOLATE COVERED ESPRESSO BEANS!” All the art on the wall is labeled with handwritten cards stating the price, tax, and total. One end of the place, back by the bathrooms, is dominated by a ginormous black table with executive office chairs: poker. The radio starts playing “Pour some sugar on mehhh…!” and I realize this would be a great place to come running in to if it suddenly starts to rain, but it doesn’t.
A bald guy with a goatee walks in, pours himself a cup of coffee, and starts taking customers while halter-top woman is outside on a smoke break with two friends. The day I went, the FAC Modern is closed for a new installation. (I try the door, and a guy in a suit tells me to come back at five for opening night.) This place, the outgoing artist just walks in and starts pulling stuff off the wall with the help of her daughter, while the incoming artist paces around outside. After a while, some woman comes in, sizes up the new art, and starts writing out tags, calculating the sales tax in her head as she goes.