give a shout out to all our veterans—AND if you missed all our
#legendsofthevoid posts for Veterans Day, surf the intrawebs to our Instagram
and Facebook to see a variety of military work done by Donn, TJ, and
Ken. Next, be sure to check our website for the latest addition of TJ’s
and Ken’s portfolio. Of course, there’s plenty more to come (and, yeah, that’s
what she said too…)
highlighting local businesses that are favorites among the shop. Like a good
neighbor, Lard Vader is there, so I made a visit to Hey! Café to chat
with owner and comics extraordinaire, Tommy L., to learn about coffee, comics,
and a upcoming alien invasion. So sit
right back, pull swigs off your Cup O Joe (hopefully from Hey! Café), and let
me tell you Mister Rogers’ style why “It’s such a good feeling…”
Magazine Street near Napoleon Avenue was pretty vacant about five years ago. No
Mike the Bike Guy or Tattooagogo, just a little coffee place
called Magazine Perks beside Ms. Mae’s 24-hour bar. Tommy sort of accidentally
fell into managing the café with partner Greg R. Even after taking it over full time, they weren’t quite sure on what to call it and had a list of names for customers to comment on. One regular
patron, Kenny, thought “Hey! Café” had
a good ring to it and Tommy thought it seemed appropriate for a logo of mug with a mouth on it. 5 years later, Kenny is still a regular, he and Tommy often reminisce on the time Kenny earned royalties by naming the place; albeit the only royalty received was a single 20 ounce iced coffee…but then again, it might be the only royalty Kenny receives in his lifetime! While working one day, Tommy came up with the logo for Hey! Café—created as a stick-pen coffee stained flyer sketch, but was enlarged for the sign and hand painted. The logo for the shop and sign remains the same today. This is D.I.Y. approach is evident within the shop. I asked if anyone has shown up with tattoo of the logo yet, Tommy said not that he’s aware of. So…boys & girls step right up and let Tattooagogo make you famous!
The thing that sets Hey! Café apart
from other shops in Nola is their No Bullshit approach to business. A simple
menu done right, sort of European style, not taking themselves too serious, and all-the-while-offering-the-best-service-possible. As I sat in the front
of the shop chatting with Tommy, I felt like I was inside the pages of a comic book.
A distinct difference over trendier coffee shops in town. In fact,
Tom’s background is in animation and he went to school for drawing and painting.
However, you won’t find an abundance over-processed artwork hanging on the
walls of Hey! Café. It’s more of paint peeling walls laced with a 80’s feel. It’s complete with an old tube TV
chest in the front corner that plays one of Tommy’s latest animations on loop—
approach of a love for coffee and comics is what makes Hey! Café so unique. Small but even sought out by coffee quest visitors across the U.S. Nonetheless, there is a “quiet room” mid-shop and a patio in the back to sit
comfortably while caffeinating and reading the Tattooagogo blog. Also,
Tommy and crew host novelty events like the recent Horrifying Lattes From Hell (this stuff is so rad you should show all your friends so you’ll be the cool kid
again…) And next month they’re hosting COFFEE INVASION on 12/12 which will be held at Hey! Café—you’ll sure not want to miss and even Lard Vader will be
there (although I’ll be dressed in a human disguise). Tommy’s given me
permission to post page 1 of a comic (left) he’s been working on lately and the
rest will be on display/for sale at the Invasion. In addition, unveiled at the
event, will be Hey! Café will now be roasting their own coffee—which is a 1st
for any shop in Nola!!! How ‘bout dat, brah?!
So whether you partake in the Hey! Café favorites in Nola summers like an iced coffee or a nice cappuccino for the high pagan holiday season, Hey! Café has you covered. Lard Vader went with a blended mocha and a banana because I was feeling both freezy and fruity. So do yourself a favor and check out Hey! Café and tell them we said so. And if you see a flying coffee mug in the sky, just remember Admiral Ackbar needs reading glasses too.
Tune in next week for Dudeism, Jesus Quintana, and something called Thanksgiving.
November ya’ll, it is.