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Vice Is the Tattoo Library Cafe You've Been Waiting For

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Vice Coffee opened up its doors earlier this month with an awfully specific vision: it's a combo coffee shop-tattoo parlor with a lending library inside. And sure, it's setting them apart from the rest of the cafe crowd for now, but it seems like just a matter of time until latte/tattoo/used book emporiums are on every corner and being made the butt of dumb cable-TV parody.

"The place is called Vice because we all have one," explained co-owner Heather DeRussy-Collazo in the early stages. Caffeine and tattoos may fall into that category, though Eater would chalk up reading as a virtue. Vice's interior also incorporates a number of iPhone/Android charging stations — handy if your vice is more along the lines of obsessively tweeting and checking your email to avoid eye contact with strangers.

The shop is located just across the street from Union Transfer and around the corner from The Institute, which is also owned by DeRussy-Calazzo and her husband, Charlie Collazo. Vice offers light fare like sandwiches, soups, and salads, which are made at the Institute, plus other grab-and-go options like LeBus pastries and breakfast sandwiches, Pequea Valley yogurt, and Sprecher's sodas. (They promise vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free food options.) Coffee comes from local One Village roasters.

The tattoo portion of the shop will run mostly on appointments (although, if it's a slow day, some impromptu ink is a possibility). The lending library consists of used books ("350+ and adding every day," reads the latest count on their Facebook page) that you can read while you sip or borrow on the honor system.

While the cafe opened its doors a couple of weeks ago, they've been easing into the full format in advance of their official grand opening celebration, which is scheduled for March 7 beginning at 7:30 p.m.. The First Friday event will feature local photographers as well as the opportunity to meet the shop's resident tattoo artists, in addition to tastings from Southern Tier brewing and 2 Gingers Whiskey. (It's a joint event with the Institute, where there will also be a Southern Tier tap takeover.)

· Vice Coffee [Facebook]
· All Institute Bar Coverage [-EPHI-]

Vice Coffee, Tattoos, and Books

1030 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia PA