Students and other night owls have a new east-side option for grabbing a hot meal, studying or just relaxing with friends.
The Poetic Justice Cafe & Lounge on north Webb Road is open until midnight six days a week.
Victoria Palacios, who owns the cafe with her family, is a Wichita State University student who noticed that many places that stay open late are in the downtown area. She wanted something available on the east side of town, too.
"That was our main goal," she said.
The cafe offers free Wi-Fi and a diverse menu.
One of the more popular items on the menu is the chicken quesadilla, but Palacios serves up many soups, salads and other items that come from her own kitchen.
"A lot of these are just basically family recipes or our recipes," she said.
There are options for vegans and vegetarians as well. A Frito pie, for instance, is made with beans instead of beef, and quesadillas include one filled with hummus. The cafe also has soy milk and cheese available.
But food isn't the only thing this family-owned business has to offer.
The first three Friday evenings of each month are dedicated to the spoken word. Anyone is welcome to perform five to 10 minutes of their own work, which can be poetry, acoustic music or anything else they want to share.
The last Friday of each month is reserved for Final Friday events. Palacios said she wants to provide a place for local artists to display their work and get their name out to the public.
"We're trying to help as much as we can," she said.
In one corner of the cafe, there is a spot aptly named "The Corner." It's a place where craft makers can display and sell their goods, such as handmade jewelry or knitted and crocheted work. Palacios offers that space free of charge. It's just one more way she wants to use the cafe to build a sense of community in the area.
The cafe hosts a craft night on Wednesdays and public domain movie night on Thursdays. She would also like to find filmmakers in Wichita who want a place to show their work.
Palacios is using social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook to get the word out about the cafe's events and specials. Word of mouth seems to be working well, too. She said there has been a good response to the spoken word nights, and it seems to appeal to poetry fans of all ages.
Being a night owl isn't a requirement to enjoy the Poetic Justice Cafe & Lounge. It also offers lunch specials and opens at 7 a.m. weekdays, which would be a perfect time to try something from the cereal bar.
Customers can order a basic bowl of cereal, such as Trix, Apple Jacks or Corn Chex. Or they can try one of the cereal bowl combos: One called That's Nuts combines Honey Nut Cheerios, walnuts and peanut butter chips. Another called Chocolaty Goodness mixes Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Krispies and M&Ms. The cafe has other combinations as well.
"I've never met anyone who doesn't like cereal," Palacios said.
If you go
poetic justice cafe & lounge
What: A new east-side cafe
Where: 550 N. Webb Road
When: Hours are 7 a.m.-midnight Mon.-Fri and 10 a.m.-midnight Sat.
For more information, call 316-613-2295.