Props to anyone who opens an independent coffee shop these days, complete with plush chairs, concrete floors, wi-fi, big street-facing windows and plans to showcase local art and music. That's what Don Watkins is attempting with the new Coffee House in downtown Henderson (117 Water St.). Opened about a week ago in the space that used to be Mocha Joe's -- as of Friday morning, it still said "Mocha Joe's" on the main counter -- Coffee House will have a grand opening tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 11. Around 6 p.m., Watkins said, there will be live painting by artist Teresa Maharaj, an open mic and plenty of coffee and pastries. (We're hoping he'll have whipped up some of the hummus that's on the menu, the recipe for which he says he got from the owner of the long-departed and oft-lamented Cafe Copioh.) The open-mic is a precursor to future open-mic Fridays, he says; live-music Saturdays are also in the works.
For his part, Watkins is no stranger to coffee joints in offbeat places: He and his ex-wife operate one in Pahrump, too. If Water Street is a long way from the cultural foment and hepcat vibe of downtown Las Vegas, and not exactly overrun with coffeeshop-friendly amenities -- there's an unemployment office next door -- The Coffee House still seems like a fine place for Henderson's creative class, if there is one, to laze away a morning. For more, check out its Facebook page. SCOTT DICKENSHEETS