Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 8:30 a.m.
Finally, there's a coffee shop in Wynwood. Lester'
s opened its doors on Friday at 9 a.m. with a clean aesthetic, Wi-Fi, beer, and wine. It's the perfect place for cool kids to get jacked up on espressos, do homework (or freelance work), and then come down again with a few dozen beers before going out to Miami-style party.
Lester's isn't your regular old Starbucks with wine though. It's also a meeting place for intellectuals, artist, readers, and fans of the hip. Owner Dan Milewski hopes that maybe those members of the literary community that come by on "second Saturdays or something have a different reason to come here now on a regular basis and sort of commingle maybe more with artist types." An artist himself, he says, "The idea is for the spot to be a permeable space like that, where content can move in and out of it in interesting ways."
Lester's sells a nice sized curated magazine collection. Most of these titles you can't buy in other places around town. It's "stuff you don't normally see here." Sure you can find theory and art magazines and journals like n+1, ZingMagazine, and The Exhibitionist on the web. But Milewski makes a good point, "You don't always find out about titles and stuff on the internet." Lester's makes it easy on you, just come down and find the smart awesome things.
When defining what kind of cultural events will be in the space, Milewski mentioned that galleries deal with artists and offer talks, clubs have music, and Books & Books, though in different parts of town, have literary events. "I'd like to think of dabbling in all those things. The space is flexible."
There won't be any big concerts, but likely we can expect book signings, readings, trunk shows, some music events, art and design lectures, even maybe design objects on display. What happens in the space culturally will be "dictated by the community."
Will the fact that it's in an arts district define Lester's audience? "We're right in the middle of Wynwood. We're obviously going to get a lot of foot traffic from gallery people and artists who have studios, people who might have an office here." It's located just blocks from the Design District, which will also reflect in the clientele.
With all the ruckus of opening, Milewski hasn't had time to read most of the magazines on sale, but when we asked what his favorite magazine was, he said, "I really like Jacques
, and that's going to sound really dirty," since "it's an adult publication."
Hey, it's the first one we picked up, too. "But it's really cool because it's a different take on pornography, it's not dirty" he calls it a "new naturalism, not airbrushed Playboy." Truly an artist, he noted "I find it very interesting if you want to discuss sexuality in that way." Us, too.
If you think you're going to see your photographs for sale on the walls of Lester's, think again. Milewski's probably not going to show his own work or your work there. "I feel like the galleries mostly have that covered." It's not out of the question that art would be shown, but he doesn't want to just throw his friends' artwork up with a price tag. Instead, he's got a handsome wall of men with mustaches.
Approachable, but not totally unpretentious, Lester's the kind of place you feel better about yourself for having visited.
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