Brews News

Scribbles Cafe

Beatnik Haven and Family Meeting Place

Brendan Trenner
Those of us who grew up in Northeast Ohio, especially in the suffocating comfort of the ‘burbs, know that it can be difficult to find engaging artistic culture in the area. AltOhio is here to provide a guiding light! (Anybody remember that daytime soap? I think it’s still running…) Cleveland means sports, eats, arts, and music. Akron also has some of those things. But for those of us stuck in between: Kent, Ohio is a green little river oasis. Kent has that sweet small-town feel, but the university draws a diverse student body. The result is a mini melting pot of culture where one can still walk down the street and call each other by name.

Speaking of that sweet small-town feel, almost every time I enter Scribbles Coffee, I am greeted by pleasant baristas whom call me by name. This feels extremely warm and inviting. Most of the baristas are students, but during the day, you will probably be greeted by Jen or Beth- whose families own the shop. This café is a nice place to find a random conversation. Great local artwork is on display and for sale. Students of all ages, long-time locals, and eclectic characters frequent the establishment. The staff is always extremely personable, as well as the patrons

A wide variety of organic, fair trade coffees and teas are offered, along with all of the specialty drinks you would expect to find at Starbucks. The café also hosts a variety of community events throughout the week, including “Knitting for Those in Need”- a group of women who gather to knit hats and gloves for charity, biweekly Open Mics, and biweekly “Old Time Jams”- with guitars, banjos, violas, and upright basses among other classic backcountry instruments playing waltzes and jigs. On random nights throughout the week, one usually finds local or travelling songwriters performing original compositions for patrons.

Upon entering the back room of the café, patrons find a library of used books lining shelved walls. Scouring these shelves, I have found several counter-culture gems from the 1960s and 1970s. These books are for sale, and at $1-$3, you cannot beat the value. Seating options include cozy coffee-stained couches and small tables. What I love most about Scribbles is that the table cloths are construction paper, which is replaced at the beginning of each week. Upon the tables sit glass vases and jars of colored pencils, crayons, and watercolor paints. Patrons who relax at the tables are casually prodded to “scribble”. Throughout the week, the tables become covered with artwork and poetry of a surprisingly strong caliber. People write funny and inspiring quotes on the tables. All of this adds up to relaxed, creative atmospheres.

Scribbles is a meeting place for locals and an inviting coffeehouse for students away from home. Writers, hipsters, and musicians flock to the place. Try it for yourself. Go grab some organic green tea, sit down with some colored pencils, and see if you can make a friend. Standing Rock Art Gallery is its next door neighbor, and JB’s loud-ass rock basement bar is directly across the street. I promise: the people are friendly. Go scribble.
Scribbles Cafe
237 N Water St, Kent, OH 44240
(330) 346-0337
Mon-Thur: 6:30am to 10:00pm
Friday: 6:30am to 11:00pm
Saturday: 7:30am to 11:00pm
Sunday: 7:00am to 5:00pm
Prices: $1.00 to $4.00