LOCK HAVEN - Avenue 209 Coffee House, 209 Bellefonte Ave., will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a concert of local performers, including students from Lock Haven University.
What started out as an alternative to going to see music without the hustle of a bar scene, has turned into a sort of "home" for regulars, to the point where manager Jared Conti can tell who is coming in hour to hour.
"It is almost like a bar scene; you get these people and you know their stories. You know who they are as people. You know personal aspects of their life. There's running jokes you have with people. You know opinions, friendships and feelings," Conti said. "I've had the opportunity to work there and work there enough that I know the people who will be there hour by hour."
A steadfast supporter of the community, Avenue 209 Coffee House also was recently awarded with a "family friendly" award by the Lycoming-Clinton Breastfeeding Coalition after their barista, Sheena Hanley, allowed a customer to stay and breast-feed her 1-month-old baby.
"We're church sponsored, so really what we wanted to do is to have a safe place for everybody. That community aspect has come up a lot. We originally thought it would have been more of a college place. We just now started tapping into the college potential," Conti said. "I realized it was more of a community place within the last six or eight months; I've definitely seen that aspect more. Sometimes you don't see certain things until you look at it again."
"On Wednesdays we have retired teachers. I've had them for class! It's neat to see the different groups of people that come in," he said.
Avenue 209 has continuously brought in performers for the community to have the opportunity to listen to, as well as show art by local artists.
For more information, visit www.facebook .com/avenue209coffeehouse.