Best Coffeehouse With a Player Piano - 2003
The Vanilla Factory Coffee Co.
This coffeehouse opened last May and quickly became the social epicenter of the Curtis Park neighborhood. The building has seen many uses since it went up in 1885, including as a Prohibition-era speakeasy and a 1950s vanilla factory -- hence the name. Today the coffeehouse has plush sofas and funky furniture, as well as artwork by neighborhood residents on the walls. But what really makes the Vanilla Factory special is the vintage player piano with original sheet music. The circa-1920 piano is on loan from a Curtis Park resident, Cricket Krantz, who wanted her neighbors to be able to enjoy it. The piano still cranks out tunes from the old days, and it's easy to close your eyes and imagine being served a bit of bootleg gin at an after-hours jazz party.