Lestat’s is certainly no Starbucks, that’s for sure. The contrast is plain to see, in fact, as the two are located diagonally across the street from one another. Lestat’s is best recognized as one of the local forerunners having merged the coffeehouse and open mic night scene. The coffee house began hosting open mic nights in the early 2000s and has kept its antics alive and kicking ever since.
Nestled directly beneath the hard-to-miss “Normal Heights” sign just a few miles away from SDSU, Lestat’s can easily be confused for an ongoing “Twilight” convention. The reality of it is, however, this coffeehouse is anything but mainstream.
As Adams Avenue became gentrified throughout this past decade, Lestat’s has maintained its mom-and-pop appeal and managed to sustain its eclectic clientele all while providing a little bit of something for everyone. Lestat’s West is a small but epic comedy-centric venue adjacent to the coffeehouse with a myriad of activities happening almost every night. It is, hands down, the best place for live entertainment on a college student’s budget; event prices range from fairly inexpensive to completely free.
On Mondays the venue hosts an open mic night at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays feature a hilarious comedy night, and every Thursday a writers group meets from 5-6 p.m. Throughout the rest of the week Lestat’s hosts live music, oftentimes from well-known musicians.
Lestat’s and Lestat’s West recently added another location to the coffee-household. Lestat’s on Park (Boulevard, that is) is located about two miles west of the original. Lestat’s on Park could be seen as the more sophisticated (somewhat snootier) younger brother who is on his way to becoming a doctor, while the original Lestat’s on Adams went to a state college, majored in art and made many unique friends and has enjoyed every minute of the journey. Lestat’s on Park has its flair, while Lestat’s on Adams has its fun. Now, all a student has to do is ask, “Do I want to study tonight or do I want to be entertained?”
Customer loyalty to one location instead of the other is apparent. To many local patrons there will always be one Lestat’s with an elaborate menu, both drinks and food, a distinguishable crowd, plus an easy-enough to remember trademark about its location: “We are open 24 hours … with live entertainment every night … under The Normal Heights Sign.”
Lestat’s boasts an amusing ambience, delicious food and drinks, free Wi-Fi and 24-hours-a-day availability all year long. The bottom line: Lestat’s is without a doubt a college student’s home away from residence halls; a must-experience location, at least once or twice, or every night of the week.