Saturday, 1 August 2015

Cafe Neo: Feeding and Fueling the Lagos creative scene

 Cafe Neo is a coffee shop that sells that traditional coffee fare along with pastries, sandwiches (try the spicy chicken whopper, its delicious; i don't find it particularly spicy though), juices and lemonades. They also have bubble teas which aren't quite popular in Lagos yet. And they have free WiFi (Yay!).

Spicy Chicken Whopper and Lemonade
Strawberry Bubble Tea

A lot of articles describe Cafe Neo as the Starbucks of Lagos. For one, they're both coffee shop brands; they both have a menu that consists of predominately coffee and coffee based beverages such as lattes, cappuccinos and the like. However, apart from coffee based beverages, Cafe Neo's menu has a LOT of cold drinks such as bubble teas, freshly squeezed juices(FRESH!), lemonades and smoothies. They definitely tailored their drinks menu with Nigeria's hot climate in mind. Its also important to note that they are a Nigerian owned business that sources their coffee from Rwanda; talk about Africa supporting its own. Besides, I'm sure most of us have heard horror stories about restaurants in Lagos using expired products to prepare their meals. I'm just saying; let's support local businesses that use fresh products.

When I was much younger (3 years ago), I read about Paris's cafe culture and how coffee shops went from being sites for physical sustenance to meeting points of the brightest creative minds in Paris. It was in cafes such as Les Deux Margots, Cafe de Flore, Le Procope that cultural figures such as Voltaire, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso,  had, over centuries, come to relax, reflect, and very often, engage in meaningful intellectual discourse with like minded individuals.
Cafe Neo is slowly becoming such a place. It also frequently hosts music and art events. Last month, the cafe organised a jazz session with jazz guitarist Femi Leye. This month, it will be hosting a photo exhibition in collaboration with Bialere, a digital project founded by Yagazie Emezi. BTW, I'll be going to check out the exhibition on Tuesday, you should follow me on instagram to check pics from my visit (lazy me; its always easier to post photos on IG than to blog!).

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