Berkley Coffee Mixes Music with Non-Alcoholic Spirits for a Festive Sober Space
(Sam Gurwin, Dec. 23, 2022)
Oak Park, MI – A surprising hidden gem in what is called the “Water Tower Social District” on the border of Berkley and Oak Park was found in Berkley Coffee.
This new Business had been in operation for 6 months and is dedicated to the the fusion of a Music-filled, Non-Alcoholic Social Gathering Concept.
Down a part of 11 mile road in a light-Industrial hodgepodge of buildings is a strip mall of cool new businesses that include this coffee bar & eatery.
Originally here to see the music acts shining at this establishment, we also stayed to hear the story behind their unique business concept.
The Bands playing this evening were The Idiot Kids & Hail Alien. We talked to the Members of Hail Alien, a new Experimental Punk/Synth Band that had a fabulous set. Shawn & Spenser make up HAIL ALIEN. This experimental minimal punk rock band actually plays made-up songs as they go along!
They have “layers” already in mind on the songs. They may have played similar songs before and just build upon them. They enjoy creating these layers of music.
When picking the bands or performers, Kenny Showler, the Owner of Berkley Coffee, goes for variety.
“We are trying to break boundaries, you know?” he said. “I like a variety of music”.
They are focus-testing the bands they bring in to see how they are received by the customers.
Nightlife with bands usually involves drinking, and Kenny is trying to reshape the music-alcohol union. His bar has no Alcohol in it. “It’s almost like a sick status to say you can’t enjoy yourself without alcohol,” he said.
We talked Berkley mother, Pat, whose son is Andrew, the drummer for The Idiot Kids. Pat says this Coffee Bar is a “gem.” She is a big fan of the all of the owners in this strip of businesses as they are “working hard” to grow this entertainment district.
THE COFFEE SHOP/SOCIAL AREAS
“There’s a lot more going on in here than coffee” Kenny said. “I grew up with music and it’s always so tightly associated with alcohol” Kenny mentioned the far end of his tasteful bar where “that whole end is a bar just minus alcohol.”
The glasses used are classical drink glasses- perhaps gives the illusion of one being at a mainstream bar helps folks melt into the new type of bar. We got a lesson in drink-making and the chemistry of drink flavors from this knowledgeable owner.
The nice decor of the coffee bar has two rooms. The main room has a large stage to the right as one walks inside; a long curving bar with coffee choices to the left and the curving bar on the other end set up like a traditionally bar on the right.
There are even the standard “beers on tap” dispensing area behind the bar, all non-alcoholic.
The second room is a “alternative seating” area- A quiet room which includes comfortable chairs and a couch along with a kids area. There is also a drums & piano set-up ready-to-go.
A retail area right outside the quiet room has coolers with soda and such. There are also other items to purchase.
The feel of this establishment putting one in a social mood is strong. It’s beautiful and has the feel of what one knows already- a bar. The whole business definitely is a meeting place for friends to just hang out. It centers around the delicious concoctions made by the staff.
There are 30 Non-Alcoholic Beers, Non-Alcoholic Wines & Cocktails plus a nice selection of food (soups and sandwiches), sodas and related Items too.
Berkley Coffee is located at 14661 West 11 Mile Road, Suite 500 in Oak Park, Michigan. Find out more online, including showtimes, at https://www.berkleycoffee.com/