Mandolin Café (for beginners)

Updated! Links fixed, yikes…..

It seems most Tacomans know about the Mandolin Café already. They know that the dinky exterior completely camouflages a cavernous and cozy space. They aren’t fooled anymore by the slightly shady exterior location on 12th street (across the street from the Rug Barn and Pizza Time), because they know it has no internal effect on the sunflower walls, comfy chairs, sofas, and tables of all heights and materials, and more bookcases, knick-knacks, paintings, and artsy light fixtures than you can shake a stir-stick at.

Most Tacomans (of the café-loving variety) know about the 20-odd variety of teas they will pour from their individual round silver pots (in two sizes). They know how they will order their favorite espresso drink, made with the delicious Tacoma-based Valhalla coffee.*

It seems most Tacoma café dwellers already know to check the information-packed website often to read about concerts, news, workshops, and all kinds of cool articles. It seems most people in the know already have this month’s packed calendar of performances and charitable events. They know what time the French conversation club meets. **

People know about the free internet, the lone writers, the study groups, the coffee clatch, the incredibly cool and friendly baristas, the delicious quiche, the oriental rugs, the nicely worn grand piano in the corner, the coffee roaster in the back, the fantastic international groove soundtrack, and the outdoor terrace.

Tons of Tacomans already know that Saturday mornings at the Mandolin Café are unbelievably relaxing, totally conducive to a creative flow, and just busy enough for great people watching.

This blog post is for everyone else who didn’t know until today.


*Valhalla coffee, I realize from browsing their website, seems to be what I’m drinking at all my favorite local cafes. Blackwater, Rosewood… even The Swiss and The Monsoon Room are in on it!

**This is what brought me here in the first place. It turns out I did NOT know the correct date for the club, and it was NOT today. But now I do, and Tacoma French Club, I’m with you for the next meeting!

NOTE: I totally had the wrong link! It’s now out of context, but here’s what still holds true for the other website: “Even if they don’t build, play, or listen to mandolins often, [regular visitors to this site]  know the voyeuristic allure of reading all about people who do, and love it.”


2 thoughts on “Mandolin Café (for beginners)

  1. a friendly correction: the website you cite is a well-known and excellent source for all things mando, based in kansas. however, it’s not the website for the cafe in tacoma, which is found at

    those little articles make all the difference, yeah?

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