The Kickapoo Café had its grand opening celebration on December 19, 2015, an evening that witnessed a memorable interstellar voyage for me from the clean lines, drab tones and geometric forms of austere Planet Kickapoo to my first complete WhiskeyBelles concert, where the group was bathed in Potawatomi's purple-pink light, a color otherwise used only to sell condoms and massage lotion. The tale is perhaps best told by this screenshot from my Instagram account (the photos are in reverse chronological order, with the bottom row being the Kickapoo grand opening):
The eight-hour journey illustrated, to my mind, the poles of my existence. On the early side, the gray, aseptic coffeehouse, packed full with gender-bending urban folk dwelling within sparkling clean, new surfaces. On the late-night side, curves ahead! The wild, living, reproductive world, in a space that sees no sunlight and whose surfaces are probably teeming with microscopic god-knows-what, with distinct sexes and all the joy and pain that brings.
I need both, and I imagine many (if not most) of us do.
After this roundabout introduction, let me say that the Kickapoo Café is the quality-oriented coffeehouse I have long dreamed of. The approach to quality is evident in both the product and the service, particularly as it involves the atmosphere. The music is at reasonable loudness. I find it difficult to understand the need or even the desire for concert-volume, recorded background music at a coffeehouse (I'm particularly referring to Colectivo's Third Ward location). In fact, that level of noise is physically and mentally distressing to me. Refreshingly, Kickapoo has background music that is played at a volume one might expect at home or in a car. Today, the café played a long string of songs of the roots country genre from which the WhiskeyBelles' repertoire is drawn.