Mic Boshans is many things to St. Louis. He's a musician, a barista, a promoter and, as of November 1, an entrepreneur. Foam Coffee & Beer, located at the corner of South Jefferson Avenue and Cherokee Street, is undergoing a makeover with Boshans at the helm.
"It is nerve-wracking," says Boshans, just before downing a double espresso from his own bar. "This isn't something I'd ever really wanted to do -- I'm a musician first. But when it came down to Foam about to close its doors if I didn't grab the reins, I decided I was going to take the plunge and do this."
Since opening in 2009, Foam has established itself as a place to see a decent lineup of bands playing to modest, sometimes altogether absent, crowds. Boshans started booking a couple of years ago with some specific changes in mind.
"I took over because bands were asking to play and Mike [Glodeck, former owner] was booking them, but had no idea how to do it," he explains. "So a touring band would play here to nobody and not have any local support. When I heard he was going to close the doors, I convinced him to let me take a crack at it."
As the new owner, Boshans is staying true to Foam's original concept -- it's just been slightly rearranged. The coffeehouse portion of Foam's character will not been abandoned. In fact, Boshans has stepped up the game while simultaneously supporting his friends' business.
"We've started carrying [Maplewood-based] Arthouse Coffee," he says. "It's nice to be able to buy coffee from friends who are also musicians that I've worked with in many capacities prior -- Chris Phillips [Bear Hive], Jordan Howe [Bo and the Locomotive], to name a few."
While a lot of the new plan involves changing small touches behind the bar, including the addition of select tequilas, signature drinks and a widened local-beer selection, Boshans intends to focus heavily on the venue aspect of the business.
"I've been floored by the kind of bands we've been able to get here," he says. "Phil Elverum, one of my indie-rock heroes; incredible bands that I've never heard of; and then a lot of people associated with bigger bands. Like somebody from the Hold Steady, someone from Man Man, somebody from Chumbawumba.... We get a lot of cool side projects through here."
National acts with legit label backing, such as Ed Schraeder's Music Beat, Japanese Game Show, Ezra Furman, Home Body and Travel Guide, have also chosen to add St. Louis to their regular tour stops after their experiences at Foam.
Continue to page two.
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