SALISBURY — Tomorrow night at East Parish United Methodist Meeting House, A Nice Alternative Coffee House holds its grand opening, and organizers hope the event is the first of many nights of free entertainment and family fun.
East Parish United Methodist Church pastor Rusty Davis said those who drop by will find an award-winning poet, his brother Richard Davis, and the Blue Cucumber, a band made up of four Triton students: Dmitri Hunt, Connor Barry, Hugo Faulkner and Justin Kelly.
"These four young boys are great," Davis said. "They're very excited about this."
The idea of the coffeehouse came from EPUMC's Frank Crump, Davis said.
"He is the lay assistant to the pastor, and this was something he'd done with a church he was previously with," Davis said. "It worked out very well there."
The First Religious Society in Newburyport and the Byfield Community Arts Center in Byfield also host monthly coffeehouses in those communities.
The concept is simple, Davis said. Just like its name, the coffeehouse will provide a nice alternative for those who are looking to spend time with family and friends for a night of good entertainment and camaraderie at no cost.
Also, the coffeehouse will give entertainers in the area a chance to establish themselves in the community, just as the Blue Cucumber will do tomorrow night.
The coffeehouse has an open-mike segment for talented individuals to step up and try out their acts on willing audiences.
"There's a lot of people out there floating around," Davis said. "We think we can count on four or five acts tomorrow night."
Davis tapped his brother, Richard, to read his work tomorrow. A Byfield native and member of the Massachusetts State Poetry Society, Richard Davis has had his work published nationally. In May, he earned acclaim from the North Shore Poets Forum for his poem "Heaven to Heaven."
The coffeehouse will be a new experience for Richard Davis, he said.
"This is a first for me," Richard Davis said, laughing. "My brother really put me on the spot."
Richard Davis said he would be at the coffeehouse even if he weren't performing because among the free refreshments being offered is strawberry shortcake and ice cream.
Also on the menu are free coffee, doughnuts, muffins and cookies donated by Dunkin' Donuts, as well as punch and soda.
"And one of our parishioners is planning to serve smoothies," Davis said. "They're planning on opening a smoothies shop, and the coffeehouse will be a taste test for them."
It starts at 7 p.m. in the lower level of East Parish Meeting House, at 8 Lafayette Road, in Salisbury Square.
To sign up for future performances, visit the EPUMC's website at www.eastparish.org. The coffeehouse is listed in the menu, and there is a link to its Facebook page. Or call 978-465-8940.