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Whether you're tired of waiting in long lines for overpriced coffee at Starbucks, you want an alternative to the same old regular places to eat on campus, or you are looking for a new place to hang out, read, study, smoke a hookah near the campus of the University of Arizona, with old or to-be friends, see and listen to performances by local musicians, or relax, Espresso Art Cafe, Bar and Hookah Lounge is the prect place for you.

Come warm up with a fresh cup of coffee during the cool winters, or cool off in the oppressively hot Tucson summers with an iced drink. Enjoy the unique, European atmosphere the shop provides. Smoke a bowl of hookah with your friends after a long day of work or class. People watch on the bustling street of University Boulevard from our outside tables. Or just read a book, drink some tea, and maybe take a cat nap in between classes.

We have free Wi-Fi access for our customers: if you're looking to surf the internet or do homework on your laptop, you've found the spot.

Stop by today and see for yourself.

Danny Mannheim,
owner of Espresso Art Cafe, Bar and Hookah Lounge in Tucson, AZ



the castalian spring bar tucsonThe Castalian Spring, τὸ ὕδωρ τῆς Κασταλίας, a site sacred to the Ancient Greeks, sits on the side of Mt. Parnassus a few hundred yards from the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. In order to open themselves to divine inspiration, visitors to the Pythia, the Delphic oracle of world renown, would make the pilgrimage to drink from her waters which remain crystal clear to this day. When I made my own pilgrimage to Delphi as a classics student, it was by this spring that I sat to sit, reflect, and ponder what the future held for me when I returned from Greece. I began to jot down in my small travel notebook an idea for a place where folks could go to sit, study, be surrounded by beauty and attention to detail. A "drinking library," a place away from hustle and bustle, where like minds could meet and idly chat about Euripides, Homer, Joyce or Byron. A place where in the midst of an argument over the exact wording of a stanza or the turn of a phrase, the work could simply be pulled from the shelf. A place where I could bring to life those winks and charms I had lifted from the famous cafes and taverns of Europe that summer; where students could feel like scholars, and scholars could feel at home. I drew it out, more or less as you see it now, right then and there. At the bottom of the page, now scribbled and shaded over by what was to be the bar, was a quick note I had jotted down the day before, the three maxims from above the door to Apollo's temple: γνῶθι σεαυτόν, μηδέν άγαν, Ἑγγύα πάρα δ'ἄτη.

When I came home, I got to work. It began in my small wood shop, and it clawed its way through the muck and mire of making fanciful ideas realities. I will spare you the details. I built everything- the bookshelves, to the wainscoting, to the entryway to the physical bar itself from wood flooring torn out of my family's 1880's adobe home. Come in sometime, I can point out all the scars left by our old wood burning stove that now decorate the wall paneling and countertops.

Whether you are a veteran booze hound, or are here to learn to be one, The Castalian Spring has what you need on our shelves, behind the bar, and in our oak barrels to keep your "divine inspiration" flowing. We take a lot of pride in our attention to detail. We make our syrups right here in house, infuse our own spirits, mellow time honored cocktails in barrels on the back bar, squeeze all our juice lemon by lemon, lime by lime, drink by drink. I stock a whirlwind of top shelf liqueurs and spirits from around the world, I keep an indulgent selection of handcrafted belgian ale's, my wish list, to customer benefit, beat out practicality long ago. We can tell you what it is, where it comes from, what it's for, and why we are exited to have it on the shelf. Whether you're here to talk whiskey, Wordsworth, or triglyphs and metopes, you've come to the right place. Τόδ᾽ ἐστι τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ τῆς Κασταλίας, εἰς συμπίνειν. These are the waters of Castalia, intended for drinking together.

by Kellner Brown

The Castalian Spring Drinking Library and Bar is a part of Espresso Art Cafe. To visit the bar's pages, click on the Castalian Spring's logo.

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