A local independent coffee shop located in South Seattle’s Rainier Valley is serving up more than just your favorite cup of joe. It also has gluten-free bread, wine, a wide array of coffee blends, homemade cookies and other tasty food items.
Located at the iconic corner of Othello and Rainier, Café Red is the new “it spot” in South Seattle.
Founders Jesiah Wurtz and Haley Williams started it as a mobile bicycle cart stand in 2015 on the same corner. The duo rennovated its new space over six months and opened the café to an ever-flowing gallery of visual and performance art from the local community.
Its Aug. 5 grand opening boasted an impressive lineup of some of the area’s most respected and talented local artists: Julie-C, Planet 39, SCRiBE The Verbalist, L.E.X. and MadShroom Mc.
On Café Red’s off nights — outside of their mega-lineups on Saturday and occasional night shows — it hosts open mics, aptly named “Red Mic,” clothing drives, pop-up world-cuisine showcases and community-engaging board game nights.
Wurtz is part owner, part barista, part events coordinator extraordinaire. Café Red is coffee shop by day and music venue by night, hosting some of the best of local hip-hop and experimental artists.
Café Red is not your yuppie pit stop. Staying true to the neighborhood it serves, it keeps a fresh array of socially conscious reading material and event fliers, showing their support for minority individuals while also supporting and cultivating a precious arts scene, vital for the success of our young people and the heart of our community.
Café Red provides a warm inclusive platform for artists and poets alike. Its artist showcase on Oct. 7 — “Café Red presents Power: An Evening of Local Hip Hop” — featured poets from Voices of Tomorrow, a youth poetry organization and mentoring program that meets at New Holly Gathering Hall.
The Rainier Valley shop is showing Seattle that it offers a place for everyone, and is investing in the youth of the city to lead for tomorrow.
Café Red has been open for just half a handful of months and has already cultivated the attention of music promoters for tours.
Just take rap and R&B supergroup and 2017 SXSW performers New Flame for example. They flew in from Vietnam.
Who next will book a Seattle tour stop at Café Red, and who next from the local scene will be invited to round out the bill?
Gui Jean Paul Chevalier is a Seattle-based recording artist and author from rural Washington, living counter-small-town mind for the cause of humanity. Read previous columns from Gui.
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