Best Coffeehouse - 2001
Caffiend Cybercafe & Espresso
Readers' Choice: Kaldi's Coffee House & Market Bakery
The secret forces behind the conspiracy at Caffiend Cybercafe & Espresso may be exposed by a simple perusal of the establishment's bulletin board. There, you may find fliers advertising the Society for Creative Anachronism or other medieval-combat re-enactors, a gothic-poetry Web site, a Japanese-animation club, the St. Louis "polyamory" group (which proposes an alternative to monogamy, we guess) and thoughtful mockery of Bill Gates. This is a place for the sci-fi/horror, comics, Dungeons & Dragons set, especially "gamers" of all stripes, whether they're into role-playing, board, card or video games. The café charges a modest fee for the use of their computers -- which have apparently replaced the chessboards of a bygone era -- and most in this crowd use them to play in a MUD, or multiuser dungeon, a kind of fantasy-adventure game for anyone on the globe with a modem and a lot of spare time. It's an interesting scene, enhanced by pool tables, arcade games, great coffee and a nightly closing time of 3 a.m. Probably more telling than the bulletin board is the refrigerated counter case, which contains every variety of Jolt soda.