Years ago, there was a magical coffee shop in the Lower Garden District in New Orleans called Borsodi's that was unlike any commercial space I'd ever seen.
Borsodi's was more like a theatre than a coffee shop. There was a stage, for readings and performances. Doves wandered the joint (yes, DOVES), and in different corners of the space, there were tables and chairs with their own little library section. At any given moment, Bob would make coffee while someone read poetry on stage, people seated below them played chess, and someone in a corner "library," which you walked up a small spiral staircase to get to, would read from their chosen book in a corner nook. You know — while doves flew around!
I was an impressionable 18 or 19-something from Fort Worth, Texas, and this place blew my mind. (At that point, I’d traveled abroad and considered myself “well-traveled,” but I had never seen anything like this before.)
Borsodi’s was bohemia — that oft-used but oft-misused term — at its best.
Bob Borsodi, who had been trained in the theatre, owned the place and made the cappuccinos that took could take 30 minutes to make (each!), because he was busy talking to people, futzing around, and just being Bob. I remember thinking, "Doesn't this guy want to make money? How is this a business?"