The Beat Coffeehouse and Records has been a staple of the Fremont East District for six years. Offering a chill environment for customers to sit back, listen to records, purchase records, and enjoy refreshments that include coffee, beer and wine. Get out and enjoy this unique hangout while you can, unfortunately, it won’t be around much longer.
Employee’s relayed the news to several patrons. Words spoken all echoed the same tune that the owner of the property, the El Cortez, was offered an opportunity they could not turn down. That opportunity was to open a restaurant in the location. The new eatery is the California based chain Eureka! The new restaurant will bring 100 new jobs to the area and is expected to open in 2017.
The building itself has a rich history. Located right on the corner of 6th and Fremont, the building was the first medical complex ever built in Las Vegas. Which is where Emergency Arts comes from.
Emergency Arts also occupies the building with The Beat. The two actually go hand in hand. Emergency Arts has studios to rent, galleries to explore, opportunities to host events, and artists to collaborate with. Customers of The Beat are welcome to walk the halls and admire the artwork. The new business will not have an impact on Emergency Arts and it will largely function on the second floor of the building.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that The Beat will close on or before Sept. 30. In a heartfelt goodbye on The Beat’s website, the owners thank customers for six successful years and hope to open in a new location one day.
I was scrolling through Twitter when I stumbled across the headline that the Beat Coffeehouse and Records was closing. I was suddenly overcome with sadness even though I had never set foot in the place. I had always wanted to go and was always told it was my “style.” Unfortunately, I am a homebody and rarely make it Downtown. When I do go Downtown, by the time I’ve wrangled all of my friends up in one place, they were always closed for the night. My friends are also the kind of people who would rather get down to “Work” by Rihanna over at Inspire instead of listening to the entire “Abbey Road” album on vinyl while sitting back and enjoying a cold beer.
When it comes to coffee, or anything really, I’m lazy and therefore always go for convenience. There is a Starbucks on campus at UNLV. There is a Starbucks at the mall where I work. There is a Starbucks around the corner from my house. Really, there is a Starbucks on every corner. Perhaps, the reason I was overcome with sadness when I heard of The Beat’s closing was because I felt I contributed to it. I’m like the angel of death when it comes to local businesses. If a local coffee shop is 5 miles away but a chain is 15 feet, my choice is made. When I read about The Beat, I realized how much I might be missing out on.
So, after a long 8-hour shift dealing with the hordes of customers that 4th of July sales bring in, I ventured Downtown to set foot in the place that always caught my eye but had never visited before it was too late. I was immediately greeted by the friendly employees who were quick to start up conversation. The place felt like it was buzzing with regulars, but I didn’t feel out of place or unwelcome. Crate after crate was filled to the brim with vintage vinyl and it felt like I browsed for hours.
I made my way up to the bar and ordered a small iced coffee. The baristas quickly got to work and continued small talk. Just before handing over my drink the barista got a concerned look on her face and informed me she accidentally made it a double shot espresso. She said she always made the assumption that when someone was ordering coffee at 7 p.m. it was usually because they had a long day. That assumption was right.
I then made my way into the Emergency Arts gallery. I was greeted by a feather mobile that nearly reached the floor and several vibrant paintings behind a black gated door. I took a leisurely walk around admiring everything there was to see while The Beatles softly played in the background.
I took what was left of my coffee and made my way to a small table at the front. The front and most of the side of the building is lined with floor to ceiling windows, letting in a dim natural light from the sunset and allowing me to watch the chaos of Downtown ensue. I slowly drank my coffee, listened to Paul McCartney belt out “Oh! Darling,” and wished that I had come here sooner.
Then, as the sun finally set and the crowds of holiday weekenders began their descent upon Fremont, it was time to head home. I took one last look around fearing that I missed something special and then thanked the employees on my way out the door. I hope I can find the time to go back at least once more before they close their doors for good. And I hope they will eventually open in another location. Fingers crossed it’s in Henderson.
Though it may be too little too late, this news has inspired me to go the extra mile in supporting local businesses. You should too…of course, assuming you don’t already. Head over to The Beat, get some coffee, put some records on, sit back and relax. Enjoy it before it’s gone.
Enjoy local businesses before they become just another Starbucks.