Southern Illinois houses a surprising variety of locally-owned coffee houses in the Cobden/ Carbondale area in addition to the two Starbucks and one Gloria Jean chain stores. The Southern Illinois University vicinity coffee houses offer a mixture of styles for every taste, as one would expect from a university town. Whether you long for sophistication or funk, you will find it here.
– The Mélange – This chic, classy spot has a city flare. The stylish yet relaxed interior makes it a smart end to a date night. The greenery and wrought-iron enclosed outdoor veranda is a lovely escape during good weather.
The Mélange offers pastries and dinner. It’s hours are 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday. It is located at 607 South Illinois Avenue (on the “strip”), Carbondale.
– Common Grounds – Although locally owned, Common Grounds coffee house has a Starbucks feel. It offers wireless Internet, delivery, and a sofa lounge area stocked with reading materials and games.
Common Grounds has basic coffee and tea at $2.00, and specialty coffees from $3.00-$5.00. Limited pastries. It’s open 7:00 am until midnight everyday, and located on 600 East Grand Avenue, Carbondale.
– Longbranch – The organic Longbranch coffee house in the oldest part of town is a European-style mainstay of Carbondale that has stood the test of time. It is an artsy favorite among the students and students-at-heart, but it’s also a café with a conscience. Longbranch refuses to use the cheaper, unhealthy hydrogenated oils that would save them money on their overhead, and they buy from local farmers with healthy, free-range animals. Their appealing spot by the railroad tracks offers delicious hand-made vegan and other meals on a charming fresco-style painted outdoor cafe.
The Longbranch’s price ranges are $4.95-$6.95 for breakfast and lunch, $7.95-$8.95 for dinner. It’s hours are 7:30 am to 9:00 pm, kitchen open 8a-8p. Dinner is 5-8pm. Saturday nights are salsa nights, with dancing lessons at 8:00 pm, and salsa dancing from 9:00 pm until midnight. It is located 100 East Jackson Street, Carbondale.
– Cousin Andy’s – Cousin Andy’s is an enjoyable folk-music lovers not-for-profit location with a history of drawing talented musicians. It sports a different style of house where the focus is the music.
Cousin Andy’s suggested cover donation for performers is $5.00 for students and low-income, $10.00 for others. Donations for coffee and tea run at $1.00 for a bottomless cup, cookies and soda for $1.00 also. It’s hours are Friday nights only at 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm, and musicians begin at 7:30 pm. Located at the Church of the Good Shepherd fellowship hall at 515 South Orchard Drive, Carbondale.
-The Yellow Moon – The town of Cobden takes pride in its own Yellow Moon. A listening room also, it carries touring talent and many local artists. The family/owners have some history running a Chicago blues club. Yellow Moon regulars enjoy folk music, but also blues and country music, and unique projects like Stace England’s band (the Salt Kings) doing soundtrack to a film by an early black silent film maker named Oscar Micheaux.
Cover charge for performers ranges from $5.00 to $7.00. It’s hours are Tuesday through Friday from 8:00am to 2:00pm; Friday evening from 7:00pm to midnight; Saturday from 9:00am to midnight; closed Sunday and Monday. It’s located on 110 North Front Street, Cobden.