Best Coffeehouse 

Jahva House

In the three years since this Lakeshore district cafe opened, it has become a quietly fabulous java joint by day and a community cultural center by night. Jahva House is an artsy, sunlit space serving tasty organic morning brew and light breakfast fare. It has seating to fit any a.m. mood -- bar stools along a wall or at the coffee bar, comfy living-room couches in the front, or a variety of funky, well-worn chairs and loveseats upstairs. The cafe is filled with eclectic, ethnic, antique touches like weathered throw rugs, painted tables, and figurines. A denim-clad guitar and paintings by local artists adorn its sponge-painted walls, and an antique piano by the window serves as an altar for talismans and figurines. Still, the place manages to avoid being overly precious. Here, the mostly nonchalant placement of sacred items seems to accentuate their everyday natures. As for the customers, the mix is truly diverse. On any given morning, you might encounter a nursing mom and her toddler on the couch, a couple of "suits," or some brothers in blue jeans philosophizing at the bar, maybe even a twentysomething writer tapping on a laptop on the upstairs landing. Complete with the occasional visiting musician -- local harpist and singer Destiny performs some Friday mornings -- owner and manager Michelle Lochin-Wiggins and her husband D'wayne Wiggins (of the singing group Tony! Toni! Toné) have pulled off some real morning magic.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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