People take part in table setting and painting in a cafe in Visakhapatnam.

People take part in table setting and painting in a cafe in Visakhapatnam. | Photography: Special Arrangements

Visakhapatnam’s cafes and restaurants are turning out to be more than just a place to grab an espresso or cappuccino. From spaces to packaging and packaging, entertainment centers to art galleries and a platform to learn a new skill, coffee shops like this one double as, and more things.

Every Friday evening at Cafe Kurtosh in Yendada, a motley crowd gathers to listen to different stories of grit, determination, the story of a Himlayan expedition or a beautiful journey. Sessions called Been There, Done That – usually an hour or two long – are mainly about sharing and reflection. The idea was started four months ago by Diwakar Vadapalli, the founder of Cafe Kurtosh. “When I came back to Visakhapatnam after working in the US, I felt that the city needs a place where people can gather, talk, share their life journeys and most importantly . relax and think. A cafe is a great place to entertain with fun and food that will become a habit,” says Diwakar. Seven seasons of the series ended this weekend Cafe Kurtosh will host the eighth session where a wildlife conservationist will share his journey of leaving a toxic path to follow his passion and land in the middle of a mangrove and transform into a community. used to eat the dreaded fishing cat. While travel stories are an important part of the story, Diwakar said he plans to involve people from other parts to make the evening more interesting.

Like Cafe Kurtosh, many other urban restaurants are looking to provide experiences for customers where they can be part of a community of like-minded people, show their skills or learn something new. In its eight years of existence, the Bean Board has become something of a cult that helps strengthen bonds over a cup of coffee. From a single outlet in 2014, today it is a fast-growing chain with three operational outlets in Visakhapatnam, three more openings and a new one opened at the US Consulate in Hyderabad. Although in the past, gigs, open mics and performances by local groups were common, the virus has put a stop to live events at the cafe. The Bean Board has been dedicated to it for the past two months by organizing workshops with artists and craftspeople for children and adults to revive its places. Next year, it is set to announce big changes and bring a change in the way people spend the evening in the cafe. “In the first week of January we will be opening our biggest outlet in Panorama Hills which is 5,000 sq. ft. Here we will start monthly sessions of Coffee Stories to meet real life heroes from the forces military, civil services and other sectors will come for a consultation,” said Isaac Jeremiah of the Bean Board. “There is a big gap between educators and enthusiasts. Our intention is to bridge the gap, channel the energy of the youth, provide a platform for people to come together, listen to these inspiring story in an unfamiliar setting of a cafe and enjoy special items from the menu,” he added. “We will have a YouTube channel where we will broadcast these sessions,” Isaac said.

People take part in table setting and painting in a cafe in Visakhapatnam.

People take part in table setting and painting in a cafe in Visakhapatnam. | Photography: Special Arrangements

After a gap of two years, Gluttons Garage is back in Pandurangapuram hosting open mics and standup comedy sessions. Sessions – a result of days of discussion and planning – is a house. Last month, paint and sip classes were hosted, a new concept in the city, where participants drank their favorite drink while painting. Sessions last several hours and are very busy. “Our intention is to have a workshop or activities every two and four weeks. We have not reached pre-pandemic levels in the industry. But these sessions are helping for us to get the first visitors. We plan it in the evenings when the restaurants are not full. So it’s a win-win situation for us and those involved in conducting the workshops. . We have an event by an upcoming DJ and plan to host pop-ups in sustainable clothing and boutiques,” said Robert Rejoice of Gluttons Garage. The cafe is working on a new menu featuring a fusion of popular dishes from different corners of India.

People learn about the delicious wheel of a coffee connoisseur at Wabi Sabi Art Cafe in Visakhapatnam.

People learn about the delicious wheel of a coffee connoisseur at Wabi Sabi Art Cafe in Visakhapatnam. | Photography: Special Arrangements

Wabi Sabi Art Cafe in Vishalakshi Nagar hosted a coffee tasting session inviting customers to try different beans sourced from India’s coffee plantations. The gathering of 25 people and more people learned about the different types of beans, the methods of cultivating them, the different countries where they grow. coffee beans. We want our customers to be associated with the cafe and the installation is a good start,” said Mohith G, one of the founders of Wabi Sabi Art Cafe. Within three months of its existence, it has the cafe hosts five sessions that include talks by wildlife photographers, science workshops and art sessions.“We want a community space that encourages photography of all kinds. But having just an art corner is not a sustainable idea. So we decided to start a cafe to give a platform to local artists and beginners who want a place to socialize with people,” Mohith said. The cafe has a Book Room promoting the concept of book exchange and is in talks with a book club to hold book reading sessions.



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