Gypsy Coffee House and Cyber Cafe
Every now and then, you run across a business that is such a perfect specimen of its genre that a Hollywood producer looking for a film location would reject it as being too perfect to be believed.
Gypsy Coffee House and Cyber Cafe is like that.
Gypsy has everything a good coffeehouse is supposed to have, and it does everything a good coffeehouse is supposed to do. Located in an old brick building, it sports an exposed-brick wall; ceilings covered with celestial murals; eclectic furniture (including overstuffed couches and a leopard-spotted chair shaped like a high-heeled shoe); a counter with an assortment of Da Vinci syrups lined up on shelves behind it; a chessboard; a bookcase full of diverse titles; a piano; a computer for those who don’t own laptops to take advantage of the Wi-Fi connection; and, on the evening we were there, a handful of hippies participating in a drum circle out back.
It hosts plenty of events of the type you expect to see in coffeehouses (live acoustic music, open mic nights, etc.) and serves the requisite coffeehouse fare: iced mocha, decadent desserts, and a very respectable cappuccino. Even the decaf tastes like coffee, which is a welcome change of pace from the swill I usually get when I order decaf. Ron had an iced mocha, which he said was good, and we split a slice of lemon-flavored cream cake, which we both enjoyed. Prices are reasonable ($3.25 for cappuccino, $1.50 for bagels), and all orders come with a side of classic anti-Establishment ambience.
If it sounds a bit cliched, that’s because it is — but for me, that’s part of its charm.
I was in high school when coffeehouses found their way from Seattle to the Midwest, and I have fond memories of discussing the implications of Ross Perot’s 1992 campaign with a silver-haired barista and an indulgent hippie grad student at Longbranch Coffeehouse in Carbondale, Ill., while I sipped a small cappuccino and convinced myself that cutting class was sophisticated — not just a symptom of senioritis — if you did it while wearing a broomstick skirt and talking politics over large doses of caffeine.
Gypsy would be fun if it did nothing more than offer me a good cup of coffee and a nostalgia trip. But beyond that, it makes me grateful — grateful that I had a safe place to hang out and be “deep” when I was a kid, and even more grateful that there are still places where precocious teenagers can hang out with patient hippies and feel sophisticated and intelligent while they try out their wings and grow into bright, capable adults who will run the world in a few years.
Gypsy is located at 303 N. Cincinnati, just north of Spaghetti Warehouse. Hours are noon to midnight Sunday through Thursday and noon to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call (918) 295-2181 or visit www.gypsycoffee.com.