There’s a buzz in downtown Las Cruces on the weekends. You can feel it walking down the street. You can see it passing the boutiques and restaurants. Downtown Blues Coffee, located 130 S. Main St., oozes charisma from their storefront. Their blend of music and coffee is front and center, but customers are in for a treat once they step inside.
Downtown Blues Coffee is a shop with a lot of heart and soul. Walking in, your senses hit a bit of an overload with live music, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and nostalgia all around. There are vinyl records on one side, VHS tapes and cassettes on the other. Adorned on the walls are the legendary faces of Janis Joplin, Selena Quintanilla, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters and Billie Holiday. The artist eye may be drawn to the photo of Frida Kahlo or the stool with a record on the seat.
“Downtown Blues Coffee started with a pipe dream,” Frankie Jaurequi, owner, said. “I have a massive love for blues music and I wanted to create a venue where everyone could come and listen to blues and music in general.”
On Fridays, they host their Acoustic Fridays where musicians can come together and play music. Every other Saturday, the shop is host to Salons where people can sign up to perform music, poetry, short stories and more. In the past, the Salons even hosted jugglers and drag queens.
“We celebrate everybody and everything. We are that, come as you are type of shop,” Jaurequi said. “We love people and want everyone to get along together and have a good time and celebrate life.”
Downtown Blues Coffee is known for being a music venue. Musicians from around the country have booked gigs there. A special center piece in the shop is a white vintage door. Jaurequi said that the door was donated to him from a friend. It was one of the original doors used in San Miguel, N.M. There are a couple others that were repurposed into tables as well. He said that musicians that play Downtown Blues sign the door. A right of passage he is proud of.
Jaurequi spoke about how music is on another level for him. A native of Silver City, he moved with his brothers, sister and parents to Las Cruces in 1982. After high school, he moved to Miami, Fla. for music production. He moved back to Las Cruces, began a family and noted it’s been a good life.
In 2019, Jaurequi opened Downtown Blues Coffee. From the beginning, he wanted to sell vinyl records. He mentioned originally that he envisioned the records on a smaller scale with just 100 available. Through a mutual friend, he said was introduced to Fred Nevarez to supply him with vinyl records.
“And man did he supply me,” he said. “This guy had 80,000 records plus. He was just the biggest music fan and lover I ever met in my life.”
Once Nevarez came in, the interest in records increased due to Nevarez having multiple genres at his disposal. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Nevarez passed away.
“I love exposing people to blues music,” Jaurequi said. “It’s one of my passions. If they have never heard it, it makes me feel good to say, ‘Hey, you should check these guys out.’ If they are young kids, even better. I can show them that the 12 Bars Blues really matters and its in all modern music. It can never be forgotten.”
According to Jaurequi, he credits the Farmers and Craft Market of Las Cruces for bringing in a lot of exposure to his shop during the market.
For Downtown Blues Coffee, one of their goals is to be the shop people go into for their morning cup of coffee. They carry two brands of coffee, Milgro Coffee y Espresso created a special blend – Downtown Blues Blend. And the other is Café Du Monde, directly from New Orleans.
“It’s been a bumpy road,” he said. “But we are so happy that the community loves the shop. Not only the community, but literally the country and all over the world,”
Close to the register, there is a large world map on the wall. Jaurequi described that guests from all over the states and six continents have come in and pinned where they are visiting Las Cruces from.
“It’s incredible. You get (people from) Europe, Australia. They might not necessarily be here for Downtown Blues Coffee, but they come to Las Cruces and it’s great,” he said.
For more information on Downtown Blues Coffee, visit www.downtownbluescoffee.com or follow them on social media on Facebook and Instagram.