By Jaelin Wilson
As the work day ends, this pretentious cafe transforms itâ€™s back room into a comedy club at the strike of 9; welcome to Kreuzberg Coffee Company, home of San Luis Obispoâ€™s best iced chai tea, bar none.
Every Friday night, Kreuzberg presents a free stand up comedy night of the open mic variety; one that features a cavalcade of comedians, from practiced regulars to sporadic newcomers. Kreuzbergâ€™s comedy night is the only time you can catch someone trying to be more creative than itâ€™s regular coffee-drinking, MacBook-toting, customers.
Kreuzberg comedy night is perfect for anyone in search of some freeâ€”but not cheapâ€”entertainment, and for those 21 and over: a bar (and assorted caffeinated beverages for anyone else). The comedy night lasts about two hours, and itâ€™s long enough for you to consider leaving a time or two. Ultimately, it will keep you in your seat, awaiting the next crowd-slaying comic.
If youâ€™re interested in sitting with a group or near the stage, get there early. Thereâ€™s roughly thirty seats on the quasi-comedy club floor, and a handful of serviceable seats on the second-level balconyâ€”which I recommend if you donâ€™t want any chance of getting made fun of by a loose-cannon comedian.
Itâ€™s standing room only on a good Friday night, including the stairs that lead up to the balcony seats. So go light on the drinks if you donâ€™t want to attempt a mid-set journey to the bathroomâ€”comics hate that; plus, your chance of getting a joke hurled at you goes up considerably.
On top of being packed to the gills, itâ€™s loud. Like, drunk or inconsiderate people talking over mic-wielding comedians, loud. If youâ€™re lucky, youâ€™ll be part of a crowd that doesnâ€™t mind hushing jabber mouths; and if youâ€™re really lucky, youâ€™ll get to witness a skilled comic quip a loud mouth into an embarrassment-sponsored silence.
Most of the talent is local, but that doesnâ€™t stop traveling comics from blowing on through. You never know what youâ€™re going to get.
The coffee companyâ€™s unique walls are peppered in alt-iconic, artsy portraits and murals, abstract enough to make you ask â€œwhy,â€ but distinct enough for you to acquiesce to the vibe Kreuzberg is pushing in your face: Weâ€™re young, artisan, and better than other coffee shops.
Which is ironic, because stand-up comedy is probably one of the most self-deprecating art forms there is; but it works.
â€œItâ€™s the right type of performance you can find at Kruezbergsâ€”theyâ€™re suffering artists,â€ said Kaitlin Krumwiede, a recent Cuesta to Cal Poly transfer student.
Itâ€™s perfect; in a perpetually sunny college town where parents foot the bill, we have Kreuzberg, a haven for suffering artists. And after 9 p.m. on Fridays at 685 Higuera St., thereâ€™s even a night for it.