A painting displayed in Linnea’s Cafe’s courtyard, a showcase for local artwork.
Photo by Steven Holguin/Cuestonian
By Holly Walsh
Local hole-in-the-wall coffee shop Linnaea’s recently began hosting art galleries and musical performances that benefit locals in the area, including several Cuesta students.
Linnaea’s coffee shop, located at 1110 Garden St. in downtown San Luis Obispo, has kept up as one of the city’s venues for live music, and hosts events nearly every night.
Some nights are reserved for poetry, artist receptions, weekly jazz jams and monthly folk music jams. Students and community members gather to appreciate and share their own personal talents.
According to John Knutson, Director of Choral Studies at Cuesta College, small jazz groups made up of Cuesta students used to perform on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m.
Recent Cuesta graduate Talia Ortega, who used to participate in weekly Jazz jams at Linnaea’s, used experiences from the coffee shop to learn how to turn raw sound into a finished album.
With the start of the new school year, Linnaea’s invites all students to partake in weekly events and sign up for art showcases and live music performances.
All people are welcomed to enjoy and purchase the art from artists all over, sometimes including local art throughout the year.
For students wanting to display their art at Linnaea’s, the showings are booked almost a year in advance. Each September Linnaea’s places an ad for art in local papers and with the Art Council email group.
All of the artists are interviewed and 12 artists for the following year are chosen in October.
Linnaea’s generally has 30-60 artists apply for 11 open spots, because December is reserved for their annual “Hang it All” show.
The “Hang it All” show is geared towards giving the gift of art for the holidays.
For musicians and other talent acts, such as comedy or poetry, shows are booked through email, which can be found on Linnaea’s website. Performance slots are booked 3-5 months in advance.
Linnaea’s has no PA system or sound gear, therefore musicians bring their own or play acoustically.
Linnaea’s doesn’t charge cover fees for events and all ages are welcome.
In addition to being a hub for local talent, Linnaea’s is known to have some of the best coffee in the city.
“It’s the best coffee shop in San Luis Obispo. They have amazing drinks and treats, and nothing beats the atmosphere,” said Kelsey Zazanis, a regular at Linnaea’s.
Linnaea’s produces their own organic fair-trade coffee beans, which is the basis for their famous coffee drinks.
Another regular at Linnaea’s describes the coffee shop as being a place of comfort for her.
“Everyone is so chill and kind here,” Winter Nichole, a Linnaea’s regular said. “I always feel at home. I moved near San Luis Obispo and was homesick but this cafe make me feel happier. I always enjoy chatting with the staff.”