This originally started back in 1997, I think, which was... sixteen years ago?! Wow. That's crazy.
Anyway, there were a bunch of folks in our social circle living down in that part of town, so on Fridays we would go to Common Grounds, the coffeehouse at 30th and Lowell, to drink coffee and play gin (or other games).
We did this a lot. We were the noisy group that would take over the back or one of the side rooms and stay until the place closed and they kicked us out. We celebrated quite a few birthdays there, and somebody (Thomas?) got Wally Pleasant to play a gig there, and there were many many games played -- from the MtG era, through the days of the Cheapass Games gamebox, and the Settlers of Catan eurogame resurgence, and the age of homebrew experiments like Chutes and Ladders and Sauron, and times of less gaming, and even the times when we'd actually play gin or rummy or other traditional games. Gin and Coffee was also where kung_fu_monkey and I first flirted with one another, too. (Which turned into a one-night-stand that we failed to ever stop having.)
In recent years, the tradition has waned, for a variety of reasons but I think mostly just because people have moved around so that it's no longer centrally located.
But Common Grounds is closing on Monday, so we had one final get-together tonight. We didn't stay until closing but lots of people showed up and we talked and laughed and played We Didn't Playtest This At All (which I got for my birthday, and which does a remarkably good job of not being Fluxx even though it's got basically the same setup) and had a grand old time. I thought about having a French Soda for old times' sake, but instead I had a glass of lemonade with strawberry ice cream in it because it promised to be really tasty (and it was).
It was a good coffeehouse, and a good tradition, and I will miss it. Sic transit gloria mundi.
And despite all the times we said someone ought to try it, nobody ever mixed actual gin with actual coffee and drank the result. Which... is probably just as well.