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Art hangout: Java Lords in Little 5 Points



Getting a complete picture of the art scene in Atlanta is about more than the finished product; it's one thing to attend gallery openings, art parties and stay abreast of political issues that concern the arts in our fair city, but to get a real idea of the life blood of the arts community, you have to go where the artists are.

One place where the artists are these days is Java Lords, a little nook of a coffee shop / bar tucked in between 7 Stages Theater and Variety Playhouse in Little 5 Points.

The drinkery boasts a selection of fair trade, organic coffee and tea, tasty pastry munch'ems and a full bar. Aside from having the rare quality of running early morning coffee shop  and late night bar hours, Java Lords also possesses a unique quality that other caffeine haunts in the ATL can't hang onto with nearly the same consistency - a steady contingency of local artists, musicians and generally creative characters.

In just one outing to get my daily oolong, I spotted Art Papers editor-in-chief Sylvie Fortin, local musicians Derek Lyn Plastic and the NEC's James Oh, writer/photographer Ben Grad, and WonderRoot's Danny Le. And that's in addition to their staff, which includes local band The Judies' Warren Ullom, singer/songwriter Naomi Lavender, and Dodekapus art collective co-founder Trevor Jones.

According to Ullom, it's Java Lords' laid back environment and central location that draws the east side's creative kids: "There are no rules here. Everyone can ride in here and leave their bikes...It's so relaxed, so people can just hang out and talk about projects. The fact is that everyone here interested in doing art. Plus, we're in the middle of Little 5 Points and [we're adjacent] to 7 Stages Theater."

From across the bar, fellow Judies band member and Java Lords regular Dave Miksch interjects, "Rules are meant to be broken, Jessica!" which somehow sums it up pretty well.

Part of Java Lords' appeal to the artistic set in the neighborhood could also have something to do with their cheap drink specials, like Monday's $1 PBR nights.

It's this kind of vibe, where everyone's habits and neuroses are tolerated with love, patience and a suitable beverage, that allows for the electric productive energy to go crazy. It was here, at a drunken late hour, that the petition to save the Georgia Council for the Arts was first written and spread to the online masses. Their Tuesday open-mic nights have been a breeding ground for musical collaborations. Quite simply, there seems to be something special about a place where you can get your drink on at noon with no judgment, get a caffeine fix that would satisfy even the most uppity coffee connoisseur's palate, and be off the grid enough to relax and have the talks that could lead to Atlanta's next great art project.

;

:Photo: Clementine WIllowilde



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