Coffee Collab's More Than Just Coffee

Coffee Collab in Isla Vista is exactly what comes to mind when someone says “artsy cafe.” Located on Pardall, directly down the street from the tunnel, the place seems like it came straight out of a movie or jumped off the pages of a book. You know the ones where normal dude wanders in and meets manic pixie dream girl barista? That kind of place.

The walls are entirely covered with art and murals, all done by the people who work there (or used to.) Even the bathroom walls didn’t go unpainted. An old piano is pushed opposite the room to a bedazzled car door and some beat up surf boards, and all kinds of couches and chairs litter the floor. A handmade bookshelf holds stacks of worn classics, their pages yellowed and dog-eared. There’s even a collection of well loved board games. Do I hear game night over chai lattes? Think boho meets crazy art collector meets your cool aunt who likes to paint.

Photo by The Bottom Line and The Black Sheep 

It’s the perfect place for studying, catching up with friends, or getting your morning buzz.  But unbeknownst to most, it’s also the perfect place to perform. Every week, on Wednesday nights, Coffee Collab hosts an open mic night on their patio, welcoming artists of all kinds to share their craft.

Singer-songwriters, musicians, comedians, and poets alike can sign up to perform in front of an enthusiastic and always welcoming crowd. The people at Coffee Collab are supportive and always willing to lend an ear, a guitar pick, or even back up percussion. The patio is the perfect place to play or just hang out and enjoy the scene as IV bustles by in the background.

Photo by The Bottom Line 

An old rug, some speakers, and a couple microphones are all the cafe needs to turn into a lively and warm venue for talent from every corner of IV. Local musicians and even UCSB’s comedy and poetry clubs utilize the space as a way to hone their craft and warm up to performing in front of someone other than their bathroom mirror.

Not to mention, Coffee Collab offers a massive selection of yummy drinks to enjoy while you vibe to the music. Whether you’re a green tea girl or an espresso till death dude, the menu has something for everyone, hot or cold. They even have three different kinds of kombucha on tap and special “magic elixirs” handcrafted for those extra special coffee runs.

It’s not often that you find a coffee shop that truly has a culture of its own. Coffee Collab is a true gem in Isla Vista, and open mic nights only make it that much more special. So if impending midterms are getting you down, do your best to swing by on a Wednesday night, grab a mug, and let the music lift your spirits high.