Ohio was named by the Iroquois Indians and means “great river”. Its nickname, “The Buckeye State”, refers to the Buckeye trees that grow throughout its woodlands, and although the state is known for its great college sports programs, its cities have some of the best coffee shops America has to offer.
Take the cities of Dayton and Columbus. Their streets are filled with coffee shops whose patrons line up every day to get a taste of their favorite brews. One shop in particular with a style all its own is Kafé Kerouac (yes, they spell café with a K), whose unique blend of art, literature, and coffee makes it one of the city’s favorite places to enjoy a cup of coffee.
In Ohio Coffee and Art Come Together As One
The Coffee house and bar known as Kafé Kerouac is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee and experience Ohio’s best artists and poets. Friends, college students, and locals gather at the coffee house to listen to poetry slams, comedy shows, see artwork, buy books and records, and taste wine and microbrews.
The idea behind the coffee shop was to fuse the arts and coffee together, creating a nostalgic/beatnik atmosphere that transcends the modern day corporate coffee house culture that tends to focus on fast service and predictability.
How Jack Kerouac Created the Modern Day Coffee House
William Burroughs, the novelist of the American classic Naked Lunch, once said, “Jack Kerouac opened a million coffee bars and sold a million Levis to both sexes.” Truer words have never been spoken. The great American author and poet, known as Ti Jean by his family, had a tremendous influence on how Americans experienced coffee in their local coffee houses.
The novelist belonged to a generation of post-World War II wanderers known as the Beatnik youth culture. This band of roving nonconformists adhered to a general philosophy centered on bettering the self through inner means rather than materialism.
Kerouac and the rest of the Beatniks hung out in coffee shops and read their poetry, debated their ideas, and listened to jazz. In fact, Kerouac was a manic writer who produced many of his poems and novels during sleepless nights fueled on Benzedrine and coffee.
The author’s way of life gave way to the hippie movement of the 1960’s and the hipster scene that is present today throughout the country in cities like Brooklyn. The drink of choice of these ever-changing counter culture movements has always been, always will be, sweet, creamy, coffee. For this alone, coffee lovers and coffee houses across the U.S. will forever be indebted to Kerouac.
So next time you’re in the mood for some poetry and java, head on down to Kafé Kerouac. They’re events include whiskey tasting, poetry readings, and showings of local artists. It’s also a great place to just sit down and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee with a friend and meet new people.