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Touring Downtown WIFI: Lost Souls

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Sunday, December 21, 2008, at 01:35PM
Lost Souls_CD Ed Fuentes

On a recent visit to Lost Souls, scouting details for this story, Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” played right after Earth Wind and Fire’s “Let’s Groove.” It's an old-school coffee shop, and it's been serving up coffee and WIFI for ages.

That’s in Old Bank District years, of course. The Harlem Alley hideaway will have its third anniversary on January 8, 2009 and plans are being made to celebrate the occasion later in the month.

As for WIFI, there are the rare days when the connection is jumpier as a coffee addict on his third double cap. Usually though, it's dependable and this place must be listed as one of our favorite WIFI spots, though it's hardly news to most of you. The WIFI's free with the password on the receipt of that triple chocolate chip cookie you just purchased.

PROS: Two outlets alongside tables against the wall are placed well in reach, and there are plenty of extension cords near the make-shift nighttime staging corner. If the WIFI drops, just tell the staff to reboot the router.

CONS: The bands on some nights may be a distraction, but that’s not a bad thing.

JAVA AND SMOOTHIES: The menu has all the favorites and they are not afraid to shake up the choices once in a while. The menu board is not up since some renovations are being planned, but oddly most customers know the menu so well they don’t miss it. If you are new to Lost Souls, just ask the counter staff the sandwich, coffee and smoothie choices. They can rattle off the menu quickly.

THE WILD CARD: Lost Souls now sells CDs in the back of the space. Some removed seating reduces the WIFI work footprint, but the new feature is something worth having. The story is that a friend of Lost Souls had a CD and record store in lower South Park, but closed it down when he got married. The inventory in his garage went to the coffee house and, just like that, a music store is now in the Old Bank District.

Plans to expand the inventory include a move to feature CDs by bands who play Main Street. The section will be called “As Seen On Art Walk.”

Lost Souls Cafe / 124 W. 4th, down Harlem Alley / 213-617-7006 / Monday - Friday, 7am - 10pm / Saturday and Sunday, 9am – 10pm


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