As someone who has visited an average of two new cafes per week over the past year, I have to confess that I've reached the danger point of occasionally feeling somewhat blasé toward the whole scene. Good coffee, bad coffee--most cafes offer such similar concepts that whether they are fabulous or frightful, many are fundamentally very much the same. It is a rare treat when something truly different comes along.
So it was with great delight this weekend that I accidentally tripped over the Enlighten Cafe and Art Gallery on my way through old-town Ballard. Just up Ballard Avenue from the farmers market (which still makes its weekend appearance, wintry weather notwithstanding), Enlighten looks more like a furniture store than a cafe through its windows. And that initial impression isn't entirely false; every piece of furniture in the store is also a work of art available for purchase.
As an art gallery, Enlighten has been around for about seven years, but has only been serving coffee and pastries for about as many months. Check them out on Facebook to find out about their live-music schedule, or drop by any day between 10 and 10 to browse the art and enjoy an espresso.
Enlighten Cafe and Art Gallery is located at 5424 Ballard Ave. N.W.