Welcome to where the seeds of dreams are planted--where one can sip from the charmed chalice of life & meet interesting folk through (hopefully) intelligent conversation.

One never knows nor can expect who will sail into the fray--what we do know is that no soul here is perfect no matter how we try. So let us celebrate & raise our mugs to the idiosyncratic nature of life--to the Kramer's & Norm's of the world, the Roseanne's & Allan Poe's. Some old, some lost, some tortured, some blessed, all souls sharing a drink at the same time in the same place. The ensuing tales are authentic with names trending towards monikers. The flag waving on our doorstep means we're open, so come perk your curiosity in Le Harbor Bungalow Cafe.

Bonjour! Mesherfin! Hasta la vista! Your barista.

Friday, May 11, 2012

What's Shakin'

Through the distorted glass of an empty cookie jar resting on top of the bagel case, the barista spies a frail, old man with a gray moustache and leather biker hat having just walked through the open front door.  His eyes seemingly hypnotized by the pastries greeting him at the café entrance.

“Otis!  What’s shakin’?”

Otis used to be the regular among regulars.  He was Jennifer’s first customer when she bought the shop at the innocent age of 24.  But months prior to Shelly taking over the business, Otis’ visits became less frequent.  The Dead End Tavern became a recurring beneficiary of his presence. 

“Oh, nothing.  I’ll have a coffee.” 

The weathered man’s hand shakes like a possessed slot machine lever with attention deficit disorder as the barista hands him his coffee.  Otis embraces his inner child with a fluff of whipped cream on his beverage.  The barista prepares him a chicken salad wrap.

“So have you been playing out lately?”  Otis blew the saxophone in his heyday.  Gigged all around town.  Lived the life—explaining his shaky hands.  He and the barista often talk music.

“Sa matter of fact, I’m sittin’ in with some friends tonight.”


“Leadbelly’s…but the big gig is on the 25th. I’m on all night with Curt and Crissy.”  That reminded the barista…he never got the time from G-Tore, the young, acoustic blues duo he was to play with tonight.

“So have you seen Jennifer?”  Jennifer was a local celebrity in the point called Fell’s: A young college graduate and entrepreneur thrust into business world.  Easy on the eyes, especially to old, retired men such as Otis.

“Yeah, she was in the shop yesterday…and I heard this morning, too,” said the barista as he tucks some spinach in the black bean wrap with the chicken salad he whipped up seconds earlier.  “I schedule her on occasional Saturdays.”

“Schedule her?” Otis seemed confused.

“You didn’t hear?  Sally asked me to manage the shop.  So I’m in charge of the scheduling, hiring, et cetera.”

“Ahh, congratulations.”

The barista had been fairly modest about his promotion, choosing to focus on the task rather than talk about it.  While choice baristas were digging their graves, the barista was searching for recruits to attend barista camp.  He planned to loosen his lips after a reliable and deep staff was in place.

Eight O’clock.  It was the G-Tore on the phone.  The barista would have to hustle to make it on time:  Close shop, shower, eat, warm up & go! 


The barista slung his bass over his shoulder and briskly walked down his apartment stairs, along the sidewalk, over a cobblestoned street, then diagonally across the piazza of Fell’s to Leadbelly’s.  G-Tore was about to begin their second set.

“Let’s give a hand for Reggie.  He’s gonna join us for this first one.”

Shit, no warm up beer.

The guys waved the barista to the front corner of the bar.  Practically all the bar stools were taken and standing room was tight around the narrow, row home-of-a-bar.  He plugged in and followed the slow blues progression.

They call it stormy Monday…but Tuuuuuesday’s just as bad…

The barista met the G-Tore duo at the open mics they frequented at Leadbelly’s.  The 20-something vocalist has a 50-year-old’s voice: scruffy, yet soulful.  The acoustic guitars weaved and resonated dynamically.  They were quick friends and the trio would jam on songs by the Allman Brothers, The Band and Phish.

The barista is searching for another fun gig.  A year ago, the barista tripped into a summer festival tour with Angelique Henle.  He traveled from Kansas to Maine--weekend warrior style.  But since Angie’s label folded last autumn, she put the band on hiatis.  So the barista plans to lure her, along with the G Tore, Hound and Curt & Crissy to le Harbor Bungalow Café. Sally wants to host open mics at her new shop.  The barista has been playing open mics in the neighborhood for a year and a half.  He's forged connections.  Why not pull as much talent as you can gather in one room?  See what happens.  So along with Otis' hands, that's what's shakin.

Following is a clip from the barista's 2011 summer festival tour.  That's our hero playing his bass.


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