Open Mic Night at The Local Blend
"I've never really had a bad experience there."
March 24, 2016
Since Sartell seems to be lacking in many businesses and amenities, as many Sartell students think, we’re lucky enough to have coffee and caffeine options outside of the city limits.
On Tuesday, March 22nd I finally attended the famed “open mic night” at The Local Blend in St. Joseph.
The Local Blend is a coffee shop in St. Joseph that receives a lot of attention from college students attending CSB/SJU (College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University), and even for high school students. It’s known as the place to be, and since it’s not in Sartell it exudes a sort of enigmatic aura for our locals.
I asked a few Local Blend regulars what their favorite part of visiting The Local Blend is. Garrett Kukowsi said, “The atmosphere. It doesn’t have the feeling of a Starbucks or a Caribou; it’s not commercial coffee and feels homier than other places would. The fact that they do stuff like have people come up and read poetry or music or whatever they want to do; even if you’re not listening to it, it just feels great.” It seems that the main attraction and differential feature of Local Blend is the ambiance it has and the general mood it creates.
I asked junior, Autumn Fosteson what she thinks makes The Local Blend different than other coffee shops, and she said, “The open mic night, but other than that probably, they have unique essence to the place. Like, oh my God, you know what I really love about that place, is when you’re going back to like the bathrooms and there’s this like mirror, that’s got a mustache on it, and if you line your face up just right you have a mustache and I love it. I have a picture of if you like.”
She then quickly added, “Honestly, I like the people that are there. Not just the people that work there but the people you encounter.”
Compared to other mainstream coffee places such as the famed Starbucks or Caribou Coffee, the little aspects that create a homier environment make it a significantly unique place to drink coffee and seems to be what makes The Local Blend such a sought after location.
20-year-old Lisa Deguiseppi plays a set at The Local Blend every Tuesday. Lisa expressed why she enjoys playing there so much: “I like playing there because the people are always so friendly and supportive. There’s a guy named Dave Cofell who runs with his wife Stephani Cofell every Tuesday. The owner is actually Jeff Engholm, and every Tuesday the atmosphere is warm and inviting.”
She even encouraged me to play a set there, and said it was an open environment to play music at. “There’s a lot of people there that know each other. It’s an all-around great place to play my music and get positive feedback.”
“I’ve never really had a bad experience there.”