House of Joe Coffee House

Melbourne, Florida

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In keeping with the chockablock aggregation of the suburban start-up coffee house this tableaux was composed in five minute spurts over eleven months. I know that the family of this family establishment went through, according to their website, a “creative process to transform a bare room into a cozy atmosphere”, but for me, the bleak exterior, the white hot sky of central Florida December with salt seeding the breeze burnt so harshly into my eyes, that readjusting into the dim on the Christmas tree and particle board furniture, was never going to settle into a hot beverage like a riding blanket onto the lap of milady in her taffeta lined carriage, clearly it was for some people, and it could be for you too, twernt for me. So with that caveat, trolls be silenced.

House of Joe Coffee House

This establishment is right up the street from where the husk of the pre-Barnes-and-Noble Barnes-and-Noble shop, Bookstop, where I worked in 1994 and 1995, which became Wild Oats, which was bought by Whole Foods and then abandoned, is located. As with Sun Shoppe it is hard for me to extricate the sunlit ennui and mini-blind afternoons of my teenage years on the Space Coast from my contemporary discoveries there. Sun Shoppe at least has a newly established framework: my parents take a coffee there every Saturday morning and have taken myself and the Southern Oracle there on a couple of occasions, one of which was supposed to be this Saturday following Christmas which found the Sun Shoppe closed and me full of curses.

All ajonesed, we continued out past where Nahacky’s aquarium store used to be onto 192 toward what others might characterize as suburban, like Jimmy Carter Blvd in Atlanta or South Sepulveda in Los Angeles but to me wasn’t able to be diverted from anything but 192 in Melbourne, where there used to be sawgrass before there was a mall and where the schoolbus probably took the hayseeds from my highschool out into the swamps at the end of the day. Already somewhat sour, into the incandescence of House of Joe we fumbled. One poor pregnant girl, with the chin-up stoicism of a girl by herself at the prom, worked alone making endless crossandwiches and specialty coffee beverages for the parade of regular-types. I got a black coffee to streamline her efforts and allow her to help a wheelchair bound old lady into the can.

House of Joe Coffee House

My family grouped together on a cluster of chairs and a couch which were all just too far apart from each other. The room was large and placing them in intimate proximity would have certainly looked as awkward as a raft adrift in the ocean. The graciousness of the spacing was heightened by the fact that we could not hear each other speak over the pop radio playing through a speaker mounted in the dropped-ceiling directly overhead. It was not satellite radio, or a disc compacte, or Pandora over a laptop, just fucking BJ105 ‘your number one hit music station.’ It played intermittent modern Christmas songs (look no further than Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmas Time‘ for incontrovertible evidence that he was the lousiest Beatle) and Chaka Kahn jams for ten minutes then commercials for car dealerships for another ten. When I was a preteen, in between bouts of playing ‘Pro Wrestling’ or ‘Contra’ on my friend’s Nintendo Entertainment System in his stale room with the curtains drawn, he and I would call people pretending to be from BJ105 and ask them for the ‘phrase that pays’, a common contest in the local area at the time, when they said “BJ105 MY number one hit music station” we would die laughing. It must have been incredibly irritating; about as irritating as the noise playing in a coffeeshop.


Et Cetera:
Against the wall leaned a single ratty particle board desk with a computer on it where you could pimp your Myspace page while talking to your bro on the celly about your rims..

From website: remember Orange Julius? House of Joe has recreated the great taste in it’s new orange creamcicle slush… a tasty blend of orange juice and vanilla!

Directly in my field of vision a small painting of Zelda(?) (not the one from Pet Sematary) made me remember that I cant find anything about the Nexxus Coffee and Gaming bar in Seattle where someone dressed in exactly that outfit was spotted and whose memory I have had to clutch like Judas in my jaws without outlet of tableau.

House of Joe Coffee House

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House of Joe Coffee House

1220 W New Haven Ave # 150
Melbourne, Florida 32904

One Response to “House of Joe Coffee House”

  1. Cheryl

    We love the workers and the owner as good people and you have all made the House more like a huge living room. Where the whole family can get together.
    God Bless

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