As the moment neared for her musical debut, Jessica Snyder spotted someone who made her face turn red.
Snyder’s father made a surprise appearance at the Rad Dish Co-op’s first open mic night last Friday to wish her good luck. It was the junior early childhood education major’s first time performing in front of a crowd.
“It was way more chill than I thought it’d be,” Snyder said.
The co-op, which has gained attention for its vegan and gluten-free menu, was packed on March 13 for an open mic night.
Tables, chairs and couches were placed in a semicircle around the stage area to create intimacy.
At the drink bar, free samples of blended drinks and coffee were available for all who attended.
“Having a co-op means having a community,” said Rhiannon Wright, a sophomore communication studies major involved with Rad Dish. Members of the co-op painted and added murals to the walls of the cafe, which is located in Ritter Hall Annex, and brought in plants to give it more of a “homey atmosphere.”
Elizabeth Eckley, a junior art education major, said the co-op strives to make it a place for everyone to feel comfortable.
Open mic night performance styles ranged from rap songs about Hillary Clinton to spoken word about being a broke college student to original arrangements played acoustically.
She performed a slowed-down acoustically sung version of Jeremiah’s popular rap song “Don’t Tell Em.”
Ian Louda, a junior film and media major, said he attended the event because he is in the midst of creating a documentary about the cafe.
“You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian,” Louda said. “You just have to respect what they stand for.”
Louda performed spoken word from his memory.
About 50 people showed up to the open mic night and more than 10 performed.
Eckley hopes the event becomes popular enough to be held once a month. The staff of The Rad Dish Co-op was eager and excited to kick off the event.
“We wanted it to be more than a cafe, more than just a place to have food,” Wright said.
Jane Babian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: Richard Smith has freelanced with The Temple News. He played no role in the editing process of this story.