EDMOND — Coffee keeps us moving, and Jason and Jenni Duncan's new Cafe Evoke, 103 S Broadway Ave., reflects the energy of the beverage that is both their passion and meal ticket.
Cafe Evoke started in 2005 as a gourmet mobile coffee service for corporate events, private parties and commercial events, but moved from its original home in the Plaza District into a remodeled space in historic downtown Edmond about six months ago to expand its audience.
The opening is a homecoming for owner Jason Duncan, who graduated from Edmond Memorial High School in 2001. His wife and co-owner, Jenni, is from Steamboat Springs, Colo., but opening the cafe hearkens back to a youth spent working in the restaurant industry.
Cafe Evoke is in a simple, classic location from a time when sidewalk space was as important as square-footage. You'll find a couple of tables with chairs out front. This invitation to sit and relax with a cup of warm, delicious human battery charger and peruse a busy intersection is a microcosm for what makes Cafe Evoke an inviting destination.
The human body is bound to two diametrically opposed conditions: rest and motion. We need and crave both. We're often caught in between, longing for one or the other. Sipping a hot cup of needed fuel injection in peaceful repose as we plot the course for a busy day signifies our ironic relationship with the antitheses.
Cafe Evoke manifests this paradox whether on the front sidewalk, back patio or within its spacious, artsy interior.
The coffee is among the best in the city, ranking with Elemental Coffee's Coffee Shop, Coffee Slingers and The Red Cup. That's no accident. Jason and Jenni bleed java. Don't ask Jason a question about coffee unless you mean it because the answer will be education.
What makes Cafe Evoke such an alluring locale is the atmosphere, which is probably more important to a coffee shop/bar than most food and drink stops. They don't offer thermos-sized cups of coffee. Twelve-ounce cups are the norm, aren't bottomless and are intended for relaxed consumption, not to be tossed back like an oyster on the half-shell.
“We want people to come in, drink slowly, read the paper, use the free Wi-Fi, and relax,” Jason Duncan said.
While some high-volume restaurants use guests' energy to create an urgency to eat and get out, Cafe Evoke offers respite from the rat race. But the centerpiece of the business is one of the world's oldest energy drinks, so the feel can't be nouveau library.
The modern-meets-classic decor illustrates how new and old can work together to push each other forward. The Duncans rotate the food and coffee to keep the menu brimming with as much energy as one of Jason's pours.