Do you like coffee? Do you like art? Have you always wanted to step inside an authentic vintage English double-decker bus? As of this past weekend all three can be found in one place at Art Bus Coffee! The concept is both simple and ingenious—Art Bus Coffee is a mobile “food truck” of gourmet coffee on the bottom level and art show and lounge on the second floor of a renovated double-decker bus.
The bus itself is quite distinctive and hard to miss. A huge red 1985 Leyland Olympian certainly stands out in Las Vegas, but what is most striking about it is the idea of the whole thing. Coffee shops have featured artwork before, of course, so that pairing was already established but putting it all into a bus has never been done before and it has proven to be a perfect fit.
Coffee is served both out the window as well as inside at the counter. From their extensive list of musically named drinks I chose the Ghost In The Machine, a vanilla latte macchiato, and was quite impressed. The latte had a perfect level of sweetness, medium body, and left a great aftertaste—all in all it was a very delicious espresso.
The upstairs art gallery was stunning. After ascending the short but steep stairwell guests were met with a comfortable lounge accentuated by photographic artwork that walked the line between impressionism and surrealism. Almost all of the photos were of local sights around town and our surrounding desert which made Art Bus Coffee a uniquely Las Vegas experience. It was a perfect place to enjoy your coffee and relax for a bit. All of the prints were available for sale, so it is a true art gallery.
The concept first took hold in the mind of Steve Patchin, the founder of Art Bus Coffee, in October, 2016. The idea took off and in short time a suitable bus was located, purchased, and driven to Vegas where restoration and conversion into a coffee shop began. This process took much longer and proved to be far more difficult than Patchin anticipated.
Besides getting the bus into working order, the biggest hurdle Patchin has faced was obtaining the proper approvals from the Clark County Health District.
“They didn’t know to make of us,” Patchin says. At first the CCHD considered them a restaurant because patrons physically enter the bus, unlike food trucks. This caused a major issue because the law mandates that restaurants have a restroom at least 50 feet away from the food prep area. Inside a bus, that is simply not possible. At long last a compromise was reached—as long as the seats were removable and only in place for events, the county would approve them and Art Bus Coffee was finally born.
Patchin says there is still a lot up in the air as to exactly what format the project will take once they have the official grand opening in the near future. They plan to be available for events and festivals and to be open bimonthly on site of Patchin Pictures—Steve Patchin’s videography business. Their facebook page will post updates for where to find them when those times are set.
Art Bus Coffee is a fantastic addition to the unique culture of Las Vegas. Their bimonthly location is at 3151 S. Jones Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89146. Visit artbuscoffee.com for more info!