Blind Date with a Book

blinddatewithabook

There’s always a new adventure when stepping foot into the Raven Cafe. Everywhere you turn there is a book in view, yearning for you to open and enjoy with your coffee. There are mysteries and escapades right at your fingertips, ready for you to grasp and escape from reality. We are constantly looking for new ways to improve that experience and keep the adventure alive. One of our dearly beloved Raven family members, Ian “Tacoslayer” Haas, brought up this wonderful idea of having a “Blind Date with a Book.”

Therefore, I have gone through our library and picked out books from random sections to contribute to this project. They are all wrapped in the same kraft paper and have reviews from real-life bookworms that state what might pique your interest and find out what’s behind the enigmatic wrapping without giving away the actual title.

These treasures are priced at $3 and will initially be displayed on our “Featured” shelf located behind the couches. It currently has a selection of “love” inspired books. Ultimately, the Blind Date books will be located in the sections where they would be usually shelved. While this may give the genre away, the rest is up to you to uncover. Look around, read the reviews, find one that provokes something inside of you and take flight!

The wonderful thing about books is their power to take you away to somewhere profoundly new and riveting, somewhere only you and your imagination can go, so why not let it? Open your mind and go on a Blind Date with a Book!

~K. Jones

Adventure Awaits

california
CALIFORNIA CLUB Turkey breast , bacon, cream cheese, fresh avocado, tomatoes and spinach served on our rustic country loaf , grilled with butter and garlic…$8.99
Stories of adventure often begin with old books, treasure maps and thought-provoking art. The Raven has all the elements to get you started, including engaging your taste buds. With the passing of 2016 we laid our “Daily Specials” to rest and replaced them with a Happy Hour and a featured food or drink, dubbed “Flavor of the Week”.
dailyspecialsFor Happy Hour, each week we’ll offer a featured draught for $2 a pint, Monday through Friday from 4:00-6:00pm.
Flavor of the Week will include drinks, sandwiches and salads that are new to the Raven. We’ll be encouraging folks to try them out and, based on the feedback, they may become part of our permanent menu.
For those of you who are greatly mourning the death of the Daily Specials we’ll be offering a Loyalty Special for cardholders that will alternate between $2.00 off our entree salads and entree sandwiches with each newsletter publication (see the black sidebar to the left). If you don’t already have a Raven Loyalty Card, what’s taking you so long?

Librarian’s View: Featured Book Shelves

55688026-515a-4139-80ff-618d56840647Whenever we do anything new here at the Raven, I get overly excited. Whether it be painting stools or simply changing out whole sections of books. It makes me over-the-top happy. I have been doing weekly book features for almost a year, and it has been quite a bit of fun for me. I got to personally choose one book from our library each week and make a post about it on our website and Facebook page. However, one book a week simply won’t suffice.
My exquisite boss, JP, came up with the idea of doing Feature Shelves; compiling all of the books that fit into a specific category, based on upcoming events and/or seasons, and dedicating one whole book-shelf to it. With that being said, I have already implemented this into the cafe! Art, Politics and Boating are our three Featured Book Shelves you can see for the next month. These shelves are all located in the upper section of the café, and we encourage our patrons to rummage through and find something you like, read it and shove it back! Make a mess and don’t worry about it! I’m the librarian for a reason.
~Kira J.

New Art & Artists

artbanner2We have new artists displaying their work at the Raven. In addition, we have purchased a few new thought-provoking prints centered on social commentary. I have also pulled a few of my old dusty peaches out of the archive to hang. For me, art is like a child: I create it, I love it and then I send it out to the world.

As an ambitious young pup I was fortunate enough to be aided by members of the community to get my work out there and sold. This kindness has stayed with me and now, as a business owner with lots of expendable wall space, I love to have original art up. To pay it forward, when an artist sells work at the Raven the business does not take a commission. Only 10% goes to the employee who facilitates the selling of the piece, the rest goes to the artist.

Artists currently showing work in our Café include:

Warren Doss – Painter, welder, musician… a real renaissance man!

Carol Mason (MASON MADE) – A resident of Croswell who makes all sorts of arts and crafts (often aided by her handy husband Dean Mason), including decorated wooden boxes, candles, jewelry, wearables and so much more.

Cecil Williams – The Blue Water Area’s crown prince of stained glass, Cecil has pencil drawings on display as well. He has entire series hanging in the Raven’s upper-level balcony . The current series illustrates seminal Detroit rockers the MC5 in saint-like depiction.

Joanie Parmann Roehl – Marysville High School art teacher and resident, Joanie has been making art for many years. She along with her students are responsible for many of the gorgeous murals at Marysville High.

Lee Hillis – Marysville resident and stained glass enthusiast. Lee has been dabbling in art since high school. Over a year ago she apprenticed under Cecil Williams at Studio 1219 and fell in love with the stained glass medium.

John Henry – An AMAZING artist, and dear friend of ours, John recently passed away and gifted us a few Poe-inspired pieces before he died. He has an posthumous art show coming up July 5 – 29, 2016 at Studio 1219.

Jody Parmann (me) – Port Huron resident, co-owner of the Raven and Marketing Specialist. I’ve been making art since I can remember. I work in many mediums and many styles. It’s just fun to get messy, and sometimes I make cool stuff in the process.

 

 

The Case of the Missing Raven

ravenTechnically it’s not missing, per se, we’re getting a new one! The old girl was up there for many years doing us proud, but she needed to be put out to roost, so to speak.

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Rick Russel

We’re having local blacksmith/wood carving artist Rick Russel create a new one for us. You’ve probably seen his work around town and didn’t know it. He’s one of the artists responsible for the gorgeous leafy railings in front of Studio 1219, the art gallery just down the road from the Raven.

Originally from Marysville, Michigan, Rick has traveled the northwest as a young man and apprenticed under a prolific metal smith in Oregon. He is currently the VP at a fencing and fabrication company in Warren. He’s a busy guy, as you can imagine, so he only occasionally gets to indulge in fine arts projects such as this. The projects that excite him are the ones that beautify his hometown and present unique challenges for him as an artist.

Stay tuned – we’ll keep you updated as our new raven nears completion.

 

 

New T-Shirt Colors in for Summer!

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Tultex Unisex T – 65% polyester/35% ring-spun, USA cotton blend. Stretchy and light – great for summer.

Not local to the Port Huron area or don’t see your size in our gift corner? Check out our CafePress! We have styles, colors, sizes and items we don’t carry in-house available for purchase!

Librarian’s View: Photo Album Magic

b4208cae-5781-45c8-8e60-eeb3abcb0e6dRecently when I came into work and saw a beat-up box with a note saying “scrapbook coming soon for these”, I couldn’t help but take some time to look at what was inside. In the box were pictures and post cards either from Michigan or being sent to Michigan. I couldn’t contain my excitement looking through the large pile knowing that I would to be the first to see them, read their messages and have the privilege to assemble them into a book.
The photo album cover says “Life Is Meant to be Shared” and the cards fit perfectly in it. Between the old, yet elegant, pictures ranging from portraits to ships to scenery, I became nostalgic for bygone times, and I have no doubt that our patrons will feel the same. The pictures are simply breathtaking! One that caught my immediate attention was of Detroit’s Belle Isle Park. What a sight! Every man was wearing a suit and the women were decked out in elegant dresses. The greenery stood tall and proud as if it were straight out of a Robert Frost poem.
I can’t wait to add this to the library and see the impact it has on the Raven’s customers. It will be kept on the shelf for over-sized books located on the upper level balcony. I would love to see our patrons scroll through these magical pages and find that the pictures tickle their insides as they did mine.
Plus, there are about twelve postcards of kittens, from the Port Huron area nonetheless. Honestly, who could resist that?!
~Kira J.
P.S. Postcards were donated to us by the Salvation Army located at 729 Howard St., Port Huron, Michigan.

Librarian’s View: Literacy and Beyond Bookmarks

b4208cae-5781-45c8-8e60-eeb3abcb0e6dThere are many fulfilling moments that happen when you are a librarian and the partnership The Raven is doing with Literacy and Beyond has become my favorite…so far.
The participation astounded me in itself, not even a month in and we had over 70 completed book marks! All unique in their own way and I couldn’t help but to snap a picture of them together and post it to my personal Instagram account. To have a community that is so involved with positive change gives myself and so many others such strong hope for the future. Just the fact that many of The Raven’s patrons cared enough to decorate a little bookmark fills
me with great joy.
For those who do not know, all of the completed bookmarks go to children that are working hard to increase their literacy. The bookmarks serve as a reminder that their efforts are supported and that they have people that believe in them.
The mugs of blank bookmarks are still scattered around the upstairs portion of the café and are being refilled as needed. If you have a love for literature, this is a phenomenal way to spread it. Please, do come in and create influential art for an aspiring book worm!
~Kira J.

Coloring for a Cause

12654627_10153898260899837_3784418815052235396_nARE WE NOT LIKE TWO VOLUMES OF ONE BOOK?  The Raven Cafe has partnered with Literacy and Beyond to help their vision.

Literacy and Beyond is an organization focused on improving the reading skills and educational outcomes of at-risk children and their families whilst addressing the non-academic barriers that hinder their success.

This organization gives away over 7,500 books EVERY YEAR to students in the Port Huron area who are working hard to improve their reading skills. (WOW! Talk about improving the community!)

Showing your support of Literacy and Beyond’s mission is as easy as 1, 2,3!

  1. Take a blank bookmark from one of the mugs throughout our cafe.
  2. Draw, color, doodle, or write inspirational messages. Whatever your creative mind can muster!
  3. When you are done simply put your finished art back into the mug.
    The bookmarks are collected and distributed to local students by Literacy and Beyond.

This is truly a match made in heaven for us here at the Raven Cafe, and we look forward to the support and art that our patrons provide!

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” –Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Progressive Accommodations for Dads

A new family-friendly addition to the Raven Cafe has finally arrived! If you have a little one presently (or one on the way) you’ll be as excited as me.

4a3b9f81-f8e6-49d3-922e-5a5e46912278Here’s the plight of mothers these days: you’re out to dinner with your husband, and the wee one needs a diaper change. In this modern day many fathers are taking a hands-on approach when it comes to parenting, and if yours is one of the good ones (like mine) he’ll offer to change the baby while you sip your coffee. He walks off only to return with still-soiled baby because, like many public establishments, there is no changing station in the men’s room. It gets trickier and even more inconvenient in a scenario with two male parents.

In the interest of being progressive, the Raven has finally installed a baby changing station in our unisex restroom (the one on the ground level). Now mothers can take that much-needed moment and drink their tasty beverage while dad cleans up the doodie! We hope to lead by example and encourage other businesses to accommodate awesome fathers (we know at least Casey’s Pizza caters to daddy diaper duty). If you’d like to join the revolution, consider sending a letter to the Times Herald’s Talk Back. Wouldn’t it be great if all downtown Port Huron restaurants got on this bandwagon? It could be another awesome perk that sets us apart from the big box chain restaurants.