Total Eclipse of the Tart: Regular readers already know I'm a full-on Jamba Juice junkie, and I was a big happy clam this morning when I noticed some new smoothies gracing their menu. So this morning, I decided to forgo my usual selection of a power size Matcha Green Tea and try the new "3G Energizer". Its bright flavor reminded me of a term my pal Char and I coined years ago for a particularly tangy vodka-and-juice cocktail we accidentally invented one day: "Ka-twang-a-licious!" The 3G Energizer is actually a little on the tart side, with real lemonade and fresh raspberries and strawberries commingling to make a mouth puckering but very delicious experience. More importantly, it contains a healthy 120mg of caffeine and plenty of B6 and B12 vitamins to provide even more buzz. As if that weren’t enough, the addition of a free Green Caffeine Boost really sends this smoothie over the edge of cracked-out-ness. I was again impressed by the fast service they provide here too, which is a big plus in the morning when I’m rushing to work. From payment to delivery was probably less than a full minute, just long enough to read the entire Coeur d’Alene Press from cover to cover.
Stray Cat Strut: Music trends come and go, but one that never seems to fizzle out entirely is good old fashioned Rockabilly. Since the 1950’s, pompadour-sporting hepcats and Betties with bangs have been revving their hot rods and jiving to the music of everyone from Elvis to the Stray Cats to the Paladins. Nowadays, it’s a subculture closely associated with tattoos and punk rock, pink hair and sideburns, black leather and red lipstick. If this sounds up your alley, you’ll be excited about the new Hot Rod Hump Day happening on the second Wednesday of every month at Cruisers in Post Falls , brought to you by Monster Booking. Each night features local Rockabilly-Punk faves Boneyard Butchers and the Backstabbers along with different opening acts and even classic theme movies like “Christine” and "From Dusk 'til Dawn" that should keep the adrenalin pumping and the energy level high. The next Hot Rod Hump Day happens tonight, January 9, so get all greasy, buy some Marlboro Reds and fire up the old-time Cadillac and check out this unique entry into the local nightlife scene.
Double Soy Chai, please: Considering the glut of coffee slingers in the downtown area, and the fact that not all of them manage to exist for very long, the owners of the new Calypso's Coffee are quite brave to throw their hat into the ring. Filling the seemingly cursed building on Lakeside Ave. that once housed Priano’s, then the wonderful but ill-fated Cuisine Cargo, then Erlendson Art Glass, Michell Remley and David Ivy would like to make Calypso's the hippest all-ages hangout spot in town. In addition to the in-house roasted coffee and fruit smoothies, they’ll be serving breakfast pastries, soups and sandwiches for lunch and dinner, and homemade decadent desserts. There’s a large play area for the wee tots, a computer zone for internet junkies, and a conference room that seats twenty-four. Something that makes Calypso's a little different than many of the other coffee shops in the area, and something that could contribute to their success are their late night hours; midnight on weekends and 10 p.m. the rest of the week. Most of the other places lock up at 8 p.m., if not earlier, and it’ll be nice for night owls to have a place to haunt. I still think downtown would benefit from a 24-hour joint, something like the great Satellite in downtown Spokane .
Sad News Dept: My first job was washing dishes in the hot, hard rocking kitchen at Henry’s Restaurant, located where Dan Davis Realty is now on Sherman Ave. Henry’s was a major part of my family’s life – it was owned by Joe Chapman, who my mother had dated in high school, and was managed by Sharon, one of my mother’s best girlfriends. My mom even worked there as a hostess for a while, and when my parents divorced (I was 18), she started seeing the bartender, a slightly temperamental but fully charming gentleman named Hap Fehrmann. Sadly, Hap passed away January 3 after a heart attack at the age of 56. Anyone who ever spent any time at Henry’s back in the day should remember him, dressed in a crisp white shirt and bow tie, his dry wit and sarcastic demeanor entertaining the many Henry’s regulars night after night for around 20 years.
I got to know him pretty well when he dated my mom, they even lived together for a while. He definitely liked his whiskey and it didn’t always gel so nicely with his personality causing him to run his mouth a bit, but he was never physically cruel and always apologetic later. He was a huge music person and a Beatles maniac, as was I, and we could talk about the subject for hours. Amusingly, he refused to upgrade from vinyl to CD technology, and said he would never switch, a vow which he kept to the end. He remained a family friend even after my mom split up with him, and I was fortunate to see him several months ago at a birthday party and we were able to catch up. I wish I’d told him how much I appreciated his presence in my life over the years. Cheers to you Hap, hope you’re sneaking whiskey shots in Heaven…this town will be significantly less interesting without you around.