After walking for the first time into the recently opened Archive Coffee & Bar today, it only took me about three seconds to decide: This place is a winner!
The vibe was immediately obvious.
Youthful, hip, cool, ironic, laid back in a sophisticated fashion. A premonition of this was evident over a year ago, as noted in my "Archive -- cool addition to Salem's downtown scene."
I walked up to the coffee side of the serving area and ordered my usual expresso drink: nonfat vanilla latte.
It was beautifully presented. Tasted good too.
I felt an extra dose of caffeine-stimulated chi/qi after I left Archive and went to my Tai Chi class at Pacific Martial Arts on Court Street. Equally important, the wi-fi was fast and easy to access on my MacBook laptop.
Turns out, splendidly.
I enjoyed sitting comfortably at the bar while I sipped my latte and checked emails. Coffeehouses usually isolate people at tables (Archive does have those too). It was nice to be close to these other patrons sitting at the bar, and Archive staff doing their thing behind the counter.
Here's the bar side.
Archive starts serving alcohol at 4 pm. I got there shortly after. There were a few people already enjoying some drinks in front of the "& Bar" part of the sign. I liked the movable ladder. And the copious bottles.
Not being much of a drinker, aside from red wine, mixed drinks are an almost total mystery to me; I may have to try some of the Archive offerings to enlighten myself some.
All in all I give Archive Coffee & Bar my highest Salem-words of acclaim: This freaking place is so cool, it feels like a place you'd find in Portland!
Check it out in the newly remodeled historic Roth and McGilchrist buildings, 102 Liberty Street NE, Suite 120.
Also check out Archive's Facebook page.
Scroll down the recent posts to find three wonderfully well-crafted videos about "prohibition" in Salem. I can't recall who does Archive's photography and videography, but these dudes are talented.
Whoever you are, you'll enjoy Archive.
I was probably (well, certainly) the oldest person in the place this afternoon. But since I like to think of myself as sort of a 60-something hipster, I felt right at home with the 20- and 30-somethings.
There's lots of good coffeehouses and bars in Salem. Archive just brings a fresh approach and atmosphere to downtown, which is terrific.