Swim Cafe

Swim Cafe

Chicago, Illinois

I told someone the other day that the most boring drive of my life was from Chicago to Kansas City. I’ve done some pretty boring drives: I16 from Macon to I95 (fuck you, Kite, GA!), LA to San Francisco (or thereabouts), any US road with three (3) or more CVSs, I40 through Oklahoma and the […]


Village Coffee House

The Village Coffee House (née Mean Bean)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

(DECOMMISSIONED) When this place was called Mean Bean, it had a powerful set of advantages, not least of which was its position as a foil to the shortcomings of the other cafes in southern Center City; every time we tried to visit the Stellar on Spruce only to find it closed, or when we couldn’t […]


Tribal Grounds

Tribal Grounds

Cherokee, North Carolina

In the Boy Scouts I was a member of the Order of the Arrow. When someone asks me what it was I tell them it was an ‘elite camping squadron.’ I don’t quite recall what it was, but membership required participation in an ‘ordeal,’ which, among a vow of silence and manual labor, consisted of […]




CAFE TABLEAUX is a compendium of literary, anecdotal musings on coffeeshop and cafe culture.

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