Intermezzo offers relaxing space
Issue date: 1/23/09 Section: Arts & Entertainment
On any given day, while you sip a euro-style espresso or a frothed latte, you are likely to hear a number of languages, from Russian to French, German to Hungarian. You will see graduate students paging through dissertations; a bike resting against a coffee grinder; a design student taking photos of a young model in a self-made dress; bar-sitters discussing the Oxford Dictionary and the nature of pronouns. This is a place where life happens - quietly.
Intermezzo's eclectic atmosphere and earthy menu attract a wide variety of people. Not to mention the open-mic night on Wednesdays, the bizarre paintings strung on the walls, take-out beer with a full bar, the free Dutch Umbrellas available to anyone caught in the rain, or the bands from World Café Live that routinely make the walk.
Just a month ago, I spoke with MAD Dragon recording artist Hoots and Hellmouth as they held a manager meeting at Intermezzo. They discussed logos, merchandising strategies, and their future tour spots inside the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. When has that happened in your corner-ly Starbucks?
Mark Monaghan, the owner of Intermezzo since June of 2007, is happy to serve such a diverse crowd. "We have a small kitchen, but we make the best of it," Monaghan said. "Good food. Good drink. That's my mission when I come in everyday."
And when Monaghan says he comes in every day, he really comes in every day. Despite having a family with two children, a second job, and playing local gigs as a musician, Monaghan shops daily, bringing fruits, vegetables, and bread from South Philadelphia's famed bakery, Carangi - delivering it himself.
"We don't have a big kitchen and don't have the storage space other places do, but shopping daily means freshness," Monaghan explained. Intermezzo Café offers fair-trade coffee, a World Café Live discount if you present a ticket stub, accepts Dragon Dollars, and even has a Drexel night.