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.

Drowning in Digital Poe

It’s a quiet week in the news department at the Raven so I thought I’d share something Poe-related. As the proprietor, I feel obligated to be well versed in Poe’s works (one must understand the product to market it well, after all). The works that I am familiar with I haven’t read since high school, but in today’s digital age I found a couple of great media vehicles to get my Poe on.

opencutltureAs the mother of a busy 3-year old I rarely get time to sit down with a good book. Even though we have an entire section devoted to Edgar Allan Poe at the Raven, I don’t have the leisure time to peruse it. These days I’m a big fan of audio books so I can multitask. I listen to them in the car, while getting ready in the morning, working, cleaning… you get the idea. Poe’s works are public domain, so a website called Open Culture whose mission it is to create a centralized source for high quality cultural and educational media has made his works available to anyone at no charge.

poeapp2Being a visual learner, I also recently purchased the Poe app collection by iClassics, who specialize in combining classic literature with interactive art and cutting edge technologies. Thus far I’ve consumed the Tell-Tale Heart, The Oval Portrait, Hop Frog, Annabel Lee and, of course, The Raven. It’s creepy, interactive, illustrative and just plain engaging. I highly recommend it and, in addition to Poe’s works, they have Charles Dickens and H.P. Lovecraft (Sadaat approves the latter).

Featured on Awesome Mitten Blog

IMG_5794-1400x480@2xThe Raven Café was featured recently on Awesome Mitten’s blog that featured “4 Michigan Drives to Make the Most of Fall”. The Raven was mentioned as a necessary stop for hot beverages whilst travelling the Highway M-25: Lexington to Caseville route.

Awesome Mitten strives to discover and uncover “awesome” events, businesses, music, people, places, products – anything that the Great Lakes State has to offer!

Nevermore Book Sale

nevermorebooksaleThe thought of throwing books away is blasphemous to literature-lovers such as we. Even when they are old, tattered and written about stuffy subjects, I can’t stand the thought of trashing them. Someone, somewhere might want them and love them.

That being said, I’m also not a fan of clutter, so I devised a way to get my orphaned books in the hands of new parents. I’ve erected a book case by our back door where patrons can purchase used hardcovers for $1.00 and paperbacks for 50¢. Just grab what you’d like and take it upstairs and a server can ring you up or add it to your bill. Additionally, there is a “free bin” for books that are irreparably damaged. They make great craft fodder.
Proceeds from the book sale will be used to purchase new books for the library. Book sale prices only apply to items stamped “NEVERMORE.”

Shameless Bribery to Get Your E-mail Address


WINTER IS COMING! Join our e-mail list and be entered to win this cozy Raven’s Brew hoodie. I send one missive a week and only feature news I personally would be interested in.

Drawing to be held December 13, 2015.

Halloween Enthusiasts Unite

I am a Halloween nut. I think the Raven is the perfect venue for Halloween fun, but I need help from fellow Halloween enthusiasts.

The prices of chintzy decorations that rarely last more than a year don’t appeal to me. I want something more authentic and durable. Being artistically inclined, I’m game to create decorations, but I need suggestions.
The best idea generator I’ve found is good ol’ Pinterest, so please share ideas with me. Let’s make this coming Halloween one that folks won’t soon forget at the Raven Café!

Buying a Drink for a Friend or a Stranger

pending3.jpgHere at the Raven, we appreciate and encourage kindness. Inspired by a post about “pending coffees”, we’ve created a small chalkboard space above our bar register where patrons can purchase drinks for friends or pending coffees for those in our community that genuinely can’t afford one. I think we can all agree coffee is a basic human necessity.

Strolling Magician Mondays, 5:30 p.m.

Darrel HafnerStarting Monday, July 27th a new face will be joining you for dinner. While you wait for your delicious sandwiches and salads, local magic man, Darrel Hafner, will be showcasing his skills at sleight-of-hand, legerdemain and generally blowing your mind.

Darrel Hafner is from Richmond, MI. He has been performing magic since 2008 and has performed at graduations, youth functions, and numerous local fairs and festivals, such as the Richmond Good Old Days, St. Clair County 4-H Fair and the Armada fair.

Preview some of Darrel’s chicanery on his Facebook fan page.

MetroTimes features the Raven Café

Photo via Instagram user @diebibliothekaren

Photo via Instagram user @diebibliothekaren

Over the weekend the Raven was featured in the MetroTimes article, “16 Restaurants Worth the Drive from Metro Detroit.”

They went on to describe the Raven as a “book-lined bistro unlike any other. But don’t let its calm atmosphere fool you. The Raven has much more to offer than its espressos, including a vibrant lunch and dinner menu and a list of cocktails that won’t disappoint. If that’s not enough, The Raven also hosts nighttime events such as movie showings, live music, and art shows. With great food and an even greater atmosphere, the Raven is not to be passed up.”

EBW.TV news video about article can be viewed by clicking here.

Madonna & Child Painting Featured on Social Media


Melissa Smith with son Elzick.

I’m happy to report the breastfeeding Madonna and Child has been shared on a couple of wonderful breastfeeding support organizations’ Facebook feeds. I hoped that the idea of the Raven celebrating and supporting courageous mamas would spread like wild fire, with the ultimate hope to #normalizebreastfeeding in our community and the U.S. as a whole.

Additionally, I was paid a great compliment by a friend of a friend, Melissa Smith, who had seen the painting via social media. She came to town for a kayaking excursion and then patronized the Raven to see the painting in person. She then snapped a photo of her feeding her beautiful son with it in the background.

Breast is Best
Breastfeeding USA