Cafe Mojoe

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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although the desperate neon of rembrandt’s can be seen in the distance, all one-way streets seem to lead away from the cafe, forcing us to continue towards the chaos of the turnabout at the steps of the pma. as we pass an apartment block that has been transplanted from miami, we encounter the first street that allows to head north from fairmount. we take the turn and search for a path to rembrandt’s, without enthusiasm.

“maybe we’ll discover a cool coffee place on the way.”

“like cafe mojoe?”

i point to a painted sign which is becoming visible through the chain link fence. we dispose the of notion of attending rembrandt’s and enter cafe mojoe, excitedly curious.

Cafe Mojoe

“i don’t know how to review mojoe without just composing a litany of complaints.”

“just forget about mojoe. let’s not review it”


on the way to newark, just past the woodrow wilson travel center, the experience of cafe mojoe grows too heavy on my mind to ignore.

“mojoe could have been really cool, if they just spent a little energy on planning the space.”

“yeah, it was a disappointment.”

“well, not totally, since we had never heard of it, and we were about to go to fucking rembrandt’s anyway.”

“you’ve never even been to rembrandt’s.”

“the soymilk is free, and it’s out on the counter already in its own carafe, equal to the other milks, which is a fucking huge bonus; you don’t have to ask for it. it has the only redeemable quality of intermezzo, without the garishness.”

“that’s really cool.”

“otherwise, it’s too much like someone just wanted to have a little cafe, and went to home depot to pick up whatever they thought would get them by. why waste money on fake granite veneer for the counter? they could have just left the construction material there and put that money into something that wasn’t shit.”

Cafe Mojoe

“i’m going to miss my flight.”

“i have this thing about sexuality and traffic.”

“doesn’t it seem like there are more cars than ever before?”

“fuck, this is just how life in the sprawl is now; these people aren’t ‘doing anything’ or ‘going anywhere’. it isn’t really ‘congested’ any more; this is just the default situation.”

“what, all these people just drive three hours a day?”

“yes, that sign shouldn’t say ‘traffic’; it should just flash ‘regular status’ whenever the turnpike is choked with cars, which is always.”

“fuck, so i should just expect to see this many cars from now on?”

“yes…if you are already opening a cafe, you are probably taking out a loan or something. just get another thousand dollars and find some way to level the area outside; no one wants to sit on a 15 degree slope with hot coffee over them.”

“even building a little deck.”

“yeah, it could be like a foot high. then they can get rid of the plastic suburban lawn furniture and find some wooden chairs. used chairs that don’t match would be an improvement. that glass table is disgusting.”

“where did they get that table?”

“probably from the poolside of some holiday inn? and how much can fucking mugs cost? just buy 50 mugs; anything is better than foam cups.”

Philadelphia, PA

“i know, just have someone washing them.”

“all you have to do is rinse the outside. they only had coffee in them and that is what is going to be put in them again. just always keep them going.”

“that’s disgusting. you can’t use dirty mugs.”

“ok, well, that’s debatable. but move that counter with the stools away from that window, and put it along the wall where you order, then instead take orders over the counter where they keep the milk and things — don’t have circulation through that raised area at all. that smilk bar is a pain anyway; it has another bar above it so you can’t raise the carafes?”

“they do give you a large serving of coffee.”


“it didn’t taste burned to you?”

“no. it was green mountain; i saw the sign. they need to get urns or thermal carafes, though. they were serving it from fucking pots kept on the burner. i fucking hate that; it is like the serving in a restaurant.”


“oh, and that column in front of the door….”


“…is cute and quaint or whatever, but it is inconvenient when you are leaving a cafe with a 20oz cup of coffee, and you are with some phe who ceases to move with deliberation every time phe visits a coffee place, causing your cup to be bumped and scalding coffee to be poured upon your hand.”

“and her leg.”

“the cafe is in a cool place, with all those houses around it; i would rather walk 2 blocks there than to rembrandt’s, if only they would try to make it work better and less hideous in there.”

“i’m going to miss my flight.”

“come on, you have 17 miles left.”

“what the fuck? last time you said 15 miles left.”

“ok; 11 and 2 and 3 and 3 and 5. 24 miles.”

“the fuck.”

Cafe Mojoe

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Cafe Mojoe

2501 Olive Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

soymilk: no extra charge

2 Responses to “Cafe Mojoe”

  1. funnymcbunny

    Just thought i’d let you know that this review is completely untrue. Cafe Mojoe replaced a poorly-run. filthy bagel shop that served muddy dispicable coffee, and when you reviewed it, it had only been in exsistance for 2 months.
    Most of the complaints are construction issues that should be taken up with the landlord. In most cases, storefronts are rented and structural issues are not controlled by the store owners.
    Cafe Mojoe brews a custom espresso roast which is ground from whole beans into airpots,unlike a restaurant. They may have sampled green mountain (since they are in the start-up phases and finding the perfect blend is key), but they certainly do not serve it as their primary blend.
    Cafe Mojoe is still a work in progress and the owner is attempting to rebuild and revitailze a place that was going completely down hilll, which is much appreciated by the Art Museum community. Just thought I’d share.
    Thanks for the exposure though!!!!

  2. Bruce Houck

    Hey, I saw some dudes discussing your Cafe on facebook; it looks like that place is gone. I thought you should know.

    swainsbury’s local 4:52:17 PM: i went to cafe mojoe today
    ex-tonsiled 4:52:36 PM: mojoe
    ex-tonsiled 4:52:37 PM: why?
    swainsbury’s local 4:52:47 PM: to get a coffee
    ex-tonsiled 4:52:53 PM: how was it?
    swainsbury’s local 4:52:59 PM: that piece is gone
    swainsbury’s local 4:53:20 PM: the structure is still intact
    swainsbury’s local 4:53:26 PM: but there is no coffee place there
    swainsbury’s local 4:53:37 PM: there is an art supply store or something
    ex-tonsiled 4:53:40 PM: weird
    swainsbury’s local 4:53:56 PM: i bet the new addition to the museum increased the rent in the area
    ex-tonsiled 4:54:03 PM: hmm
    ex-tonsiled 4:54:05 PM: maybe?
    swainsbury’s local 4:54:12 PM: it is right next door
    swainsbury’s local 4:54:21 PM: literally across the street from mojoe
    swainsbury’s local 4:54:32 PM: i bet the supply store does not last a year, either
    ex-tonsiled 4:54:33 PM: yeah, totally
    swainsbury’s local 4:54:45 PM: it is such a pain to get to that place, and they have room to sell about 10 items
    ex-tonsiled 4:54:51 PM: right
    swainsbury’s local 4:54:59 PM: so i was left without coffee, wondering if there was anywhere else to go.
    swainsbury’s local 4:55:15 PM: i went to the bookstore on fairmount, near that coffee place by the prison.
    ex-tonsiled 4:55:19 PM: mugshots?
    swainsbury’s local 4:55:23 PM: yes
    swainsbury’s local 4:55:40 PM: i contemplated going there, but that would conflict with a cl dictum.
    ex-tonsiled 4:55:51 PM: which is?
    swainsbury’s local 4:55:58 PM: fuck mugs.

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