Lounge provides ‘grown and sexy’ groove

Cool Grindz coffee lounge provides daytime relaxation and Thursday night entertainment for students in Tallahassee.

Cool Grindz functions as an espresso and martini lounge daily.

“Bringing together the two worlds of coffee and liquor in the typical coffee house setting,” said bar manager James Guttridge in the FSView.

“The concept of Cool Grindz brings something to Tallahassee that most people have never seen before. It’s revolutionary – from the ambiance, to the service, to the quality of the product we deliver.”

“Grown and Sexy Thursday” nights at Cool Grindz offers a different experience. The bar is open and one may still acquire an espresso, but with a chocolate swirl and a shot of vodka. The usual trance music is replaced by a DJ blaring hip hop and rhythm and blues. And the chairs have all been moved to the front of the lounge to create a dance floor in the back.

James Harris, a 23-year-old MBA student from Union City, Calif., is one of the people responsible for the night’s shift in atmosphere. Harris, along with Mitch Brooks, Angelique Hamilton and VIP Marketing run by Jerome Turner, contracted the use of Cool Grindz in order to bring their own brand of late night entertainment to Tallahassee.

Harris noticed that Tallahassee lacked a club where people could “kick back in a lounge-type atmosphere and chill. I feel like I am filling a void in the Tallahassee scene,” Harris said. Harris says he is not looking to attract an older crowd but is definitely trying to attract a mature group of people who want to savor the Capital City’s nightlife, but have outgrown the typical club scene.

“People go to Baja’s and Chubby’s expecting to dance hard and get sweaty. My event is for the grown and sexy,” Harris said. “You don’t have to come out and worry about getting your outfit dirty and take it to the cleaners the next day.”

Matthew Ford, a 21-year-old graphic design student from Washington, attended Cool Grindz for the second time Thursday. Ford usually attends Baja’s Beach Club and Elements Lounge, but said he enjoys the ambiance of Cool Grindz. “I don’t have to dance or hear any loud, crazy Florida music. I like being in the chill, intimate environment.” He noted the growth of the crowd and plans on making a habit of attending.

The lounge’s limited capacity and age restrictions contribute to the personal milieu. Women must be 18 years or older, while men must be 21 years or older to attend. The requirements are in place to maintain the mature environment Harris strives to keep intact.

Harris said the initial response was small, but as word traveled that “Cool Grindz is the Thursday night spot,” the crowd grew. Now Harris is “ecstatic about the response from the community.”

A number of people are invited personally to attend by Harris and his associates through e-mail. Harris and his associates also advertise through flyers and business cards, as well as their Web pages on MySpace.com and Facebook.com.

“Grown and Sexy Thursdays” began in early August and are set to continue through December. The contract with Cool Grindz is under negotiation and Harris said all future plans are tentative. If things continue to run smoothly and a market for a relaxed club experience still exists, Harris sees no reason why he would not wish to continue “Grown and Sexy Thursdays.”

“Grown and Sexy Thursdays” run from 9 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. Happy hour lasts from 9 – 10 p.m. and those on the guest list get in free from 9 – 11 p.m. The cover charge is $7 for women and $12 for men.