It’s been several years-too long, really, since Enigma, the only real coffeehouse Downtown, closed. Now, a newly married couple from the food industry, Michael and Jennifer Cornthwaite, have stepped in to fill the void at The Beat, a coffeehouse inspired by Beat Generation poets Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, located in what was, most recently, a Medical Center waiting room.
This Hopperesque space occupies the Emergency Arts Center at 520 E. Fremont St., a short distance from the Fremont Street Experience. The couple has enlisted the services of Chef Andy Knudson, who will be doing everything from scratch, save delicious croissants, baguettes and other products procured from the excellent Bon Breads.
The coffee is from Colorado River Coffee Roasters. “We wanted to use a local coffee purveyor”, said Jennifer. Good choice. I sipped a terrific cappuccino with a perfect head of foam, as I munched on a homemade chicken salad sandwich.
The chef, incidentally, comes from the Two Michelin Star Guy Savoy in Caesars Palace, so we like to think that dishes such as organic peanut butter and jam on brioche, and a cheesy croque Monsieur aren’t a huge challenge for him.
The room is sparse but charming, decorated with photos of Ginsberg and Kerouac, and there is a long counter for seating, as well as tables, chairs and stools. Hopefully, this place will become an artist’s hangout or gathering place for Downtown intellectuals. At any rate the concept is long overdue, and we plan to be regulars.
The Beat will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 686-3164
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