A night of nostalgia: 2000s return of Coffee House


Katie Lamm

Connor Coady (12) sings his rendition of “Head Like a Hole” by Nine Inch Nails. Coady was one of many students who performed at the 2000s themed open mic night, garnering attention from the audience.

It’s 5 p.m. on a Friday night. Around 30 students are on the cafeteria floor, spread apart on blankets, singing along to live entertainment and drinking coffee. This scene is a monthly occurrence called Coffee House, which is essentially an open mic night and judgement-free talent show, hosted by the staff of “The Scribbler,” the school’s art and literary magazine. 

The first Coffee House of the year was on Oct. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. “The Scribbler” staff decorated the cafeteria for the night’s theme of the 2000s. 

“People just bring pillows and blankets, so we can sit around, and we have these snacks for [the guests] to eat,” Kathy Lam (11), co-editor of “The Scribbler” said. “Everybody’s bonding together, and you make more friends because you are getting to know each other … it’s like a very nice vibe.”

When Lam was a freshman, the event was held on the auditorium stage, which was easier to decorate and created a more intimate space for both performers and guests. Because of the year-long hiatus of coffee house due to COVID-19, many current students are not familiar with the event. 

“[F]or this Coffee House, people  … distance[d] from each other,” Lam said. “They had their blankets separate, but before [COVID-19], everybody was together. It [was] like a little movie theater.” 

Although there were some noticeable differences to Coffee House, there was no shortage of talent. Students paid $5 at the door and could sign up to perform anything: songs, skits, jokes and even magic tricks. 

“We don’t judge [anybody] in Coffee House,” Lam said. “I think that’s what is amazing about Coffee House … even if you say weird things, everybody is just going to have a small laugh.”

Katoria McMullen (11) attended every coffee house her freshman year and has performed with friends before, but she went up solo for the first time performing Frank Ocean’s “Ivy.”

“It was scary at first, but I still had my friends there to support me,” McMullen said. “I know everyone now, being a junior, so it wasn’t that intimidating.” 

Due to the close-knit atmosphere, Coffee House is a way for students like McMullen to participate in non-academic after-school activities while socializing with others. 

“I missed having that sense of freedom and getting to just go crazy … on a Friday night after all the stress from the week it just … helps so much,” McMullen said. “You can dance with your friends, and you can talk and you can sing along with people when they perform or sometimes people tell jokes or stories.” 

The staff also has plans to make Coffee House even more enjoyable by featuring a movie during the event. The audience will vote on a movie, and it will be projected during the intermission. 

“During Coffee House, we let everybody have a break mid-way,” Lam said. “I think we [will] stop around 7 or 6:30 p.m.  … and put a movie [on] and let everybody calm down.” 

Anila Fariab (11) was a second-time attendee of the event. She performed a duet of  “A Whole New World” with a friend but enjoyed her night as an audience member as well. 

Honestly, every performance done could be considered one of my favorites,” Fariab said. “Seeing all of my friends go up and perform — I enjoyed every moment of it.” 

Currently, “The Scribbler” staff is trying to make Coffee House more popular among students like it was in previous years. Lam feels the open-mic night is a great option for students looking for a Friday night outing. 

“Coffee House is not that loud, but it is just the right amount of talking,” Lam said. “ … [I]f you are trying to look for more activities to do outside of school, I think Coffee House is the best for [people] if they are trying to look for a more chill area.”