Once upon a time there was a small, quiet girl who longed for a venue to share her original folk music. One humid Friday night, she threw her guitar over her back and ventured into a bar that had “Open Mic Night” sloppily written on an outdoor chalkboard. She walked in, only to walk out five minutes later, nearly in tears after witnessing a bar fight and ducking from flying shot glasses.
The next week, she set off to a trendy dessert joint after reading on a website that they hosted an open mic on Fridays. When she arrived and asked to sign up as a performer, the servers looked at her as though she had three heads. All she really had was her guitar and high hopes of sharing her music. “Uhhh, you’re misinformed, sweetie,” a not-so-sweet barista said while pointing to their evening event sign: “Singles’ Mingle.”
Finally, ‘twas a midsummer night’s dream come true as she walked into Sip This, a cute little coffee house, with her guitar. She was greeted with open arms and smiles in a room full of friendly strangers. “Come sign up and have a seat! We’ll start in a few minutes,” the host of the event said as he waved her over.
Sip This in Valley Stream is the place you’ve been looking for to share and listen to music, spend time with friends, or just relax with a newspaper and a latte after a stressful week. The aroma will draw you in more than a Dunkin’ or a Starbucks; it smells way more delicious than stale coffee and a busy single-stall bathroom.
Make yourself at home with a Sip This espresso specialty such as a Rockaway Rocket, Mocha Sunrise or Dark Knight. Have a seat in a comfy, oversized chair with a huge mug of organic tea and a slice of cheesecake. Or maybe homemade, crumbly apple pie is more your style. The coffee menu is extensive and other desserts include assorted, freshly baked cakes, brownies, blondies, chocolate chip cookies, black and white cookies and several types of vegan treats.
The coffee house draws customers of all ages and the open mics are especially a hit with pre-teens, teenagers and young adults looking for a comfortable place to expose their tentative talents.
Sip This is open from 6:30am on weekdays and commuters can rejoice with breakfast choices such as muffins, bagels, cereal, oatmeal, granola or greek yogurt. They even have breakfast-friendly desserts such as biscotti, crumb cake and danishes. If you work locally or sneak out of work early, you’ll want to come back in the afternoon for a lunch wrap.
The coffee house draws customers of all ages and the open mics are especially a hit with pre-teens, teenagers and young adults looking for a comfortable place to expose their tentative talents. Don’t be intimidated – the open mic crowd is large, but also largely supportive. The performances from young, local musicians are inspiring for listeners and performers alike. Sip This makes you feel like the stage and the moment are completely yours, unlike a crowded restaurant or bar where no one recognizes the fact that there is a live performer present. If you want to get out there and spread your wings in front of an audience, this is the perfect place to start.
… And the quiet young songwriter left the open mic with her guitar slung over her shoulder and a spring in her step. She went home and dozed off blissfully, dreaming of the encouraging applause and cheers she received at Sip This. And of course, she lived happily ever after.
64 Rockaway Avenue
Mon-Thurs, 6:30am-10pm; Fri, 6:30am-1am; Sat, 8am-1am; Sun, 8am-10pm
For more information on other open mics across Long Island, check out the OOMPA website (Organization for Open Mic Performing Artists) at www.facebook.com/groups/oompamusic.