I’ll say it now, I’m sort of in love with this place already. My housemate and I rolled on down to the Iris Book Cafe last week, unknowingly arriving on their first official full day of operation. I had seen a little movement in there over the past few months and had been wondering what exactly the place was going to be like. Well, no worries, the space and atmosphere is absolutely wonderful. Also, in a city where there needs to be equal parts competition and cooperation, Iris has decided to cherry-pick the best of Cincinnati’s cafes, bringing them together in a lovely, both warm and modern space. You, the patron can have your choice of Emporium coffee, Essencha Tea, and, for your sweet tooth, Aglamesis Bros. ice cream.
As the name might suggest there is a wonderful collection of books to browse through, the old books providing a great juxtaposition to the fairly modern design of the space. Besides the coffee, tea and books though (I would have been just happy with those, to be honest) there are plenty of other little treats tucked away in the new addition to downtown. Iris Book Cafe has a small but surprisingly drool-worthy collection of records. It’s rare that you see just a corner of records and find at least six albums that you put on your mental “come-back-and-buy” list. There’s also some fantastic wooden benches in the place (picture below, thanks BuyCincy!). If I had a bag big enough to steal them, the thought would have crossed my mind:
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the courtyard. I had seen in another post about Iris Book Cafe that they did indeed have a courtyard, always an exciting fact for me, but I had no idea that it was being done in the style of an abstract Ewok village. The giant drift wood wave isn’t really well represented in the picture kicking off this post, but then again, you should be going there to see it for yourself anyways. The important part of any coffee/tea shop is to provide a sort of oasis within the hurried days of our modern lives. With all of the books, records, hardwood floors and the wonderful sculpure engulfed courtyard, the Iris Book Cafe does just that. The best I can tell you is that it is just a really comfortable and cozy place to be. So, Iris Book Cafe, welcome to the neighborhood!
Iris Book Cafe
1331 Main St. at Woodward
Cincinnati OH, 45202