Acoustic Café stages musicians

Allison Mueller

Elizabeth Pulanco/ Winonan

Every weekend Acoustic Café in downtown Winona has musicians play on their main stage for their customers to enjoy over cups of coffee. This past weekend, the café welcomed Bob Dylanesque folk musician Andrew Hudson.

The sounds of Hudson’s voice and guitar filled the room as people were having conversations with their friends, studying or eating an evening meal. Every so often people would go up to the stage and place tips in Hudson’s guitar case.

For people who are frequent visitors of Acoustic Café, they find themselves associating the live music with the café.

“The music is nostalgic for people that come here often,” Amber Fletcher, long time customer and Winona State University graduate, said. “The music also creates a calm environment.”

Laura Hoberg, another regular customer of the café, said she has also enjoyed the music over the years.

“You almost expect the live music when coming here,” Hoberg, a Winona State senior, said.

One thing customers noticed, particularly during cold and rainy nights, was the changing atmosphere from the cold outside to the warmth inside. This was noticeable to many people, especially for those experiencing the live music for the first time.

“The music makes it a more cozy and inviting atmosphere,” Winona State sophomore Chris Veeder, who had never seen a musician at the café, said.

There was also a display of comeradery during the performance. At one point in the evening, one of the employees joined Hudson on stage to play with him for the rest of the set. It was later mentioned the two have been long time friends.

As the night continued, customers made their way to listen to the music. There were even some high school students who spent some of their homecoming night listening to the music.

As the music persisted, so did the business of the café. When the audience applauded after a song, customers continued to go up to the counter. While one employee was taking orders, other employees were bringing out mugs of hot chocolate or bussing tables.

When the music eventually ended, the café cleared as Hudson packed up.

The live music at Acoustic Café has continued to draw a crowd on weekend nights.

Acoustic Café will be featuring the group Refuge and artist Ben Kuzay, at 8 p.m. on Sept. 26 and 27.