The Coffee House

1324 P Street

Lincoln, NE

The Coffee House, despite its presumptive name, is a nice local place in Lincoln, NE, home of U of N. And it existed three years ago, when we wandered the streets like zombies, looking for life at 6 a.m., after an (honorable) ejection from the train at something like 4 a.m. They say those restaurants that survive the first 3 years have it made, cafe-wise, and this one survived. This time it was busy even though the university was between sessions, and I’m sure students are its bread and butter. Maybe this is The coffee house in Lincoln!

The old storefront is roomy and extends back just like a comfy cave. There is a kitchen in the back; that’s where they make their own goodies. Lots of tables, chairs, and softer seating–along with a weirdly-painted table or 2–fill the floorspaces. At a central counter they sell drinks, some munchies, and packages of coffee. Opposite stand some old cabinets which, I’m told, were brought up from Mississippi and are pre-Civil War. Now that’s old! There’s a lot to look at–from stained glass to artifacts–even though there was no “art show” on the walls when we visited (Apparently they normally feature local artists, whoever requests space for an informal showing). Some posters, brochures, and newsletters were laid out for the taking, and the bulletin board area has both pay phones and a pencil sharpener.  If only they’d add a dictionary…

Fare: a generous cup of coffee cost $1.35, and it comes in light, medium, or dark roast. Refills are 50c. The cookies looked scrumptious, but they cost a hefty $1.60, I believe.

Service and clientele: Students, mainly, and young, except for one table of older men. Maybe their profs, soaking up some youth culture? Several did computer work, and one table played some game such as Magic. The servers were chatty enough to tell me about the cabinets and their experiences drinking coffee in Portland. Take that, Seattle! No kids there, and no sign of kids, but I’ll bet one or two precocious ones sip cocoa there and converse with adults from time to time.

Bathrooms: Functional and fine, towards the back. One apiece for each gender.

Rating: A 4-coffee-bean hurrah (of 5) for its zest for life plus good coffee and space.