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Downtown Blues Coffee, 130 S. Main St. downtown, has “coffee, records, atmosphere” and a whole lot more.
In addition to hot Cafe Du Monde from New Orleans, the Downtown Blues menu includes iced Community Coffee from Baton Rouge, fresh empanadas from Lujan’s Bakery, chocolate and vanilla Moon Pies, a variety of hot teas, hot cocoa, chips, Mazapan and canned sodas, water and other drinks.
In store and on the sidewalk out front, you will also find a vast collection of LP records from every genre for sale, along with T-shirts, vintage jackets and jeans, coffee mugs and other dishes, knickknacks, artwork and even musical instruments.
And there are regularly scheduled live music performances by talented local artists.
There’s even a large map of the world with pins locating visitors to Downtown Blues from across the country and around the world. Owner Frankie Jaurequi said his clients included recent visitors from Columbia, and have come from six continents.
“We just need somebody from Antarctica,” said Jaurequi, who opened Downtown Blues Coffee Dec. 21, 2019.
Jaurequi is a Silver City native who first came to Las Cruces in 1983. His life-long love of music has included work as a recording engineer and producer, and he is even a “closet” bass guitar player, Jaurequi said.
Downtown Blues is also home to Fred Nevarez’s huge record collection, 75,000-80,000 records in all, which he bills as the “largest vinyl collection in New Mexico.” It also includes metal and even bone records, he said. There are more than 500 Elvis Presley records in the collection, and nearly that many by the Beatles, Nevarez said.
The collection includes all kinds of music: rock and roll, jazz, blues, country, big band, Tex-Mex, religious, comedy and even children’s records, Nevarez said.
Nevarez, a native of El Paso, has collected the records while working in construction all over the United States, he said.
“Music has been in my blood since I was a youngster,” he said.
Nevarez also has quite a collection of musical memorabilia, including a guitar pick personally autographed for him by Nancy Wilson and drumsticks signed “To Fred” from the band War. There are about 1,200 books in his rock and roll history library, said Nevarez, who remembers playing in a band with his brothers while growing up.
“We always wanted to be Alice Cooper,” Nevarez said.
You can buy records for $5-$20, and there are even record players for sale in the store.
There is so much to browse and buy in Downtown Blues, Jaurequi said, his customers often tell him on second or third visits, “I didn’t see that the last time.”
Downtown Blues was the home of the Deluxe Café decades ago, a famous Las Cruces location because Ovida “Cricket” Coogler disappeared after leaving the Las Cruces café March 31, 1949. Coogler’s body was found in the desert 17 days after she disappeared. Her murder has never been solved.
You can buy copies of the book “Cricket on the Web” by Paula Moore in Downtown Blues.
Downtown Blues Coffee is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday.
Call 575-523-8828 and visit downtownbluescoffee.com
and find them on Facebook @DowntownBluesCoffeeLC and on Instagram @DowntownBluesCoffee.