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Cuddling never sounded so good

South Puget Sound venues for snuggling and listening to singer/songwriters

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Fall is finally upon us and while the rain gathers in puddles beneath our feet, thoughts of winter survival flood our brains. Will we hole up in our humble abodes with the TV remote and a Lean Cuisine dinner? Heck no! We are Washingtonians, so a little drizzle or even the occasional torrential downpour won’t deter our entertainment plans. Especially since there are so many cozy places nearby inviting us to curl up with our favorite live musicians. Here are a few of my favorite places to relax and unwind on a rainy night:

Mocha Moo

I’m always impressed by the talent that appears at the Mocha Moo on Friday nights. It’s so comfortable in that room that it’s easy to kick back and enjoy the whole show without getting antsy. The audience area is lit only by candlelight and the stage has soft stage lighting that conveys without words that this is meant to be a listening environment. The music volume and sound quality is perfection, and the chairs and couches are super comfy. The sandwiches are pretty awesome too. It’s typically well attended but not crazy crowded. It’s usually just the right amount of people to make it fun but still allow latecomers a good seat. If you’re a musician, bring your instrument with you and participate in the open mic.


Fridays Open mic 7 pm to midnight, all ages, no cover.

[Mocha Moo, 3810 Steilacoom Blvd. S.W., Lakewood, 253.584.1565, themochamoo]

Rhapsody in Bloom

This venue manages to be both on and off the beaten path at the same time. While it sits on Sixth Avenue, a hotspot in Tacoma’s nightlife, it feels like a country home. This establishment is stoked with old world charm, art, fashion, food and drink, and the high caliber musicians and friendly staff will make you feel like staying late. The menu has plenty of yummy choices like deli sandwiches, salads and wraps from Harmon Brewery, desserts from local bakeries, and lots of fancy coffee offerings. The chocolate cake is divine. The half I couldn’t finish sat in defiance as I wrapped it up to go but wasn’t so smug when I made a lovely midday snack out of it the following day! Oh chocolaty goodness! Also worth mentioning is that the fragrant smell in the foyer does not come from a can of air freshener. They come by it honestly — the “Bloom” in “Rhapsody in Bloom” comes from the flower shop inside.


  • Stan is Love, Thursday, Oct.18, 7 p.m., all ages, no cover.

  • VZ Valley Boys, Monday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m., all ages, no cover.

  • Andy Blyth, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m., all ages, no cover.

  • Stevie Carmen, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 7 p.m., all ages, no cover.

[Rhapsody in Bloom, 3709 6th Ave., Tacoma 253.761.7673,]

Northern Pacific Coffee Company

Northern Pacific Coffee Company, next to Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, is another great place to get your caffeine fix, feed your brain and enjoy live acoustic music. If you didn’t bring anything with you to read, no worries, the walls are covered in books that customers are welcome to commune with as well as essential reading like the Weekly Volcano. Beer and wine served.


  • Tinman, Friday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m., all ages, no cover.

  • Open mic, Wednesday Oct. 24, 8 p.m. all ages, no cover.

[Northern Pacific Coffee Company, 401 Garfield St. S. Tacoma 253.537.8338]

Mandolin Café

With live music just about every day of the week, it’s hard not to mention Mandolin Café. Some of the Northwest’s most treasured acoustic performers frequent the joint, and its one of the few venues that provide a grand piano for performers to use. If you like a dash of conversation with your coffee and music, then you will fit right in. Oh yeah, and they serve beer and wine too.


  • Trevalyan Triangle, Thursday, Oct. 18, 8 p.m., all ages, no cover.

  • Hot Club Sandwich, Friday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m. all ages, no cover.

  • Erik Eklund, Saturday, Oct. 20 11:30 a.m., all ages, no cover.

  • Tim Bertsch, Saturday, Oct. 20 2 p.m., all ages, no cover.

  • Chymes Of Freedom, Saturday, Oct. 20, 8 p.m., all ages, no cover.

  • Village Jazz, Sunday, Oct. 21 11 a.m., all ages, no cover.

  • The Kareem Kandi Band, Sunday, Oct. 21 3 p.m., all ages, no cover.

  • Jake Hemming, Sunday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m., all ages, no cover.

  • Chris Koza, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m., all ages, no cover.

  • Joshua Scott, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m., all ages, no cover.

[Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St. 253.761.3482

Artisans Café

Olympia’s Artisans Café offers live music almost every night of the week. There are two plump mocha colored couches, a very long church pew down the side wall, and a balcony that overlooks the action from above. The patrons appear to mainly consist of twenty-something college students possibly from nearby Saint Martin’s University, South Puget Sound Community College or The Evergreen State College. The red velvet cake is to die for, and the sandwiches are big enough to be two meals instead of one. Artisan Cafe’ is the perfect place to order a hot cocoa or coffee drink and listen to the next Joan Baez while studying for your American economics quiz on a rainy Washington evening. They also have free Wi-fi so if you don’t see a cutie to match your taste in person, you can simultaneously mingle online.

[Artisans Café, 109 Capital Way N. Olympia 360.570.2202]

My name is Angie and I’m just a shot away. If you can’t rock me, somebody will.

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