“Oh yeah, this is a great place,” whispers the eccentric couple behind me in line as the BART rail rushed overhead of the Revolution Café on West Oakland’s 7th Street. A quick glance at the magazine rack gives notice that all demographics of the community enjoy this place. Men’s Health, Lucky, Vogue, The New Yorker and O magazine grace the rack for the next flood of people to enjoy.
But this is no library. Whether it’s the community activists discussing their next fundraiser, the biochemistry major studying alone in the corner or the old couple enjoying their morning coffee this café is a host for interests to foster. Every day that I have walked in there has been a different assortment of people slumped into the cozy chairs and perched on the bar stools. Yet everyday I hear the staff refer to people by their first names when they walk through the door.
The unpretentious interior of the café is filled with cluttered plastic toys, old street signs and brightly colored walls seemingly to serve as a way to make people feel more at home amongst items they find ridiculous.
The community corkboard is literally for everyone. A hand made note with a stick figure drawn on it asking for boarders to live in the author’s garage accompany the local artist’s announcement about
her first art show. The cozy homey atmosphere of the café makes people feel at ease and the conversations flow from there.