Fort Lauderdale's Alternative Crowd Flocks to Undergrounds Coffeehaus
The wafts of patchouli incense and bluesy acoustic guitar beats emerge from Underground Coffeehaus. Over the years, the joint has attracted Fort Lauderdale's tattooed and skinny-jean crowd with coffee concoctions topped with whip cream and sprinkles, and over 40 flavors of tatter tots.
All photos by Jess Swanson A glimpse inside the bustling coffee joint.
Putting a pale cyan streak of hair behind her ear, owner Aileen Liptak smirks at her boyfriend, co-owner Brett Combs. He smiles back, twirling his handlebar mustache.
"He's a boy who likes to drink coffee, and I'm a girl who likes to make it," Liptak says holding eye contact with her beau.
Liptak began brewing coffee 13 years ago as a barista at Barnes and Noble. She would later work at Archives Book Café, which is where she met Combs who was a regular and fan of her caffeinated creations. In time, Liptak would eventually purchase the shop, and rename it Undergrounds Coffeehaus after the previous owner put it up for sale.
"We're supposed to be quirky," Liptak chimes. "It's a coffee shop, but I'll tell you it's [spelled] 'haus' because I'm German."
Nestled above a dry cleaners in an unassuming shopping center on Federal Highway, the joint opened in their new clandestine location almost two years ago. Liptak and Combs moved from the original outpost in Gateway Plaza for more space after drawing in a loyal cult of hippies, artistic types, and geeks. Everyone followed.