July 2008


New Favorite?

Somehow I’ve not had enough time in Bloomington. My trips to Bloomington are typically stuffed with visits to old favorite restaurants—something I’ve already covered. I sometimes find new possible favorites.

Rachael’s Café is one such place.

Rachael is the transgender owner of her café—a large, bright, airy space located in the old (formerly) abandoned dry cleaners on Third Street, catty corner from the Post Office.

I’ve stopped in there twice—the first time was in the evening with Jay, when we both had a chicken salad, which was quite pleasant. Our meal was accompanied by a local rock group on the small stage area. There were only 8 customers in the café, five of which appeared to be family members of the band.

The next day I happened to be in the area and I stopped by for a café latte, this time served by Rachael herself. She was a striking woman, pleasant and charming. Not getting upset when I realized that I forgot to ask for soy milk, and not flinching to clean up the mess when the top of the bottle of honey fell into my cup of coffee.

The principal problem Rachael is facing is location. She’s south of Third, which is an invisible barrier to foot traffic, and her competition is well established and north of Third.

Her second problem is customers. I like her environment: large, bright, and airy make it nice, but during both of my visits there weren’t a whole lot of customers there, and I have to confess that one thing I am looking for when I go to a coffee shop are the other customers. soma has lots of customers, many of them delicious eye candy. Café Laden, in Weimar, is similar to soma: lots of customers, many are delicious eye candy. Until Rachael has customers, it will be hard to gain more customers.

I’ll be a loyal customer and visit Rachael again—as long as she’s still in business the next time I’m in town.

3 comments to New Favorite?

  • Ed

    I’ve never heard of Rachaels Cafe. Maybe she needs to advertise more. I’m just the opposite of you. I like a nearly empty restaurant and will avoid one that is crowded. I’ll have to give her place a try the next time in the downtown area.

  • Reko

    It should also be pointed out that Adam is a pure hero. He selflessly helped me out with my new laptop on Friday morning. It was delightful to be able to spend an extra hour and a half or so with him. I wish that next time Adam comes to Bloomington he will be able to stay longer.

  • mateo

    Chaz and I have eaten at the cafe, and it is a nice little environment. You’re right about the location being south of Third Street and how that might affect business. There aren’t really many restaurants there (that I can think of) so not many people head that way (though there are two restaurants just across the street. They didn’t have a large selection of food while we were there, but they’ve had more time since then to enlarge the menu. I hope it does well, guess time will tell!