The imposing dark red Victorian lurks alone and barely lit on a Belmont city block. We swing into a parking space on the street and pick our way to the front porch along a rippled brick walk .
The Rimsky-Korsakoffee House rings with laughter, conversation, and live acoustic guitar. The soloist perches between the piano and the entry, plucking classical and pop tunes with equal improvisational vigor.
The eclectic decorating includes 30" plastic gold beaded garlands poked into the ceiling with pins. They cascade with a 20-something craft party vibe, photos, paper mache boats and musical instruments, sparkly costume jewelry, and other assortments of junk, ending in a round tinseled sign, "30". Must be their 30th anniversary. Art Deco wallpaper lines the room, which is filled with kitch and antiques.
College students drape across a sofa in the next room, leaning in to argue with friends perched on fading armchairs. Our table, its burgundy tablecloth topped with concert tickets, handwritten notes ("Prom 1985, son's prom 2011"), sheet music, and decoupage clippings under a circle of glass, is surrounded by mismatched wood chairs. Old ones that rest casually against an antique fireplace surround. The fireplace is blocked off, but the oak mantle's carvings hint of former splendor in the gloomy lighting.
People come and go. The servers boast multiples tattoos (why are octopi so popular?), piercings, and colored hair streaming in all directions. This is not an old lady teashop, stinking of musty linens and dusty teacups. The clientele is mostly 20s and 30s, with a few oldsters like us tossed in.
W's cappiccino is delicious, and my herbal chai is excellent. Banana flan and berry cobbler round out the fun and funky vegan food. I imagine the kitchen to be well-used, barely clean, and chaotic. Fabulous! Now this would be a perfect place for evening Bible studies, for life discussions, and hanging out to develop deep friendships. Is that Jesus I hear, talking to someone around the corner?
*(Jesus) "Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master. Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names! But don't be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.'" Matthew 10:24-26 NLT
*Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NIV