Local caf fosters harmony

James Hall

Tired of the humdrum lineup of Appleton coffee shops? Sick of the same overpriced croissants and frou-frou coffee concoctions that you’ve been downing all year? Looking for a place off-campus to study, but you’re too much of a hippie for Starbucks? Look no further than the Harmony Caf.The Harmony Caf, located on Oneida Street behind the City Center Mall, is a non-profit coffeehouse with a mission. In addition to selling all the normal coffeehouse goodies you would expect, The Harmony Caf promotes diversity in the community “through arts, social interaction and community involvement.” Activities at the caf include drum circles, free concerts, free basic computer training in Spanish and English, and topical discussions of current issues.

Upcoming events include a discussion on gay marriage this Wednesday at 7 p.m., during which dinner will be served. According to Shannon Kenevan, program director for the caf, programs such as this discussion seek to present opposing views on an issue in a neutral setting. At Wednesday’s discussion, representatives and activists from both sides of the gay marriage issue will speak about their positions.

The Harmony Caf offers the usual coffeehouse fare, at prices equal to or less than those of other coffeehouses in the area. Fair Trade organic coffee is offered at no extra cost, and a bank of computers is available for Internet access.

Most importantly, Harmony Caf provides the community with an excellent resource. It is a place where people from all walks of life are encouraged, and the atmosphere of the cafe reflects this credo. On any given night you might find an elderly couple and a couple of middle school punk-rockers at adjacent tables. This commitment to an open and friendly community is what sets this coffeeshop apart from any other caf on the Ave.