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Beat Cup Cafe Parties Down Tonight for Fifth Anniversary

Original art (oils and assemblage), vintage LP covers (name your genre) and used furniture (cheap) decorate the Beat Cup Cafe; musical instruments lean against walls or in corners. Tables and chairs and big, comfy couches are spread around the floor, while sculpture graces the lawn outside facing the patio with its stone furniture. It's a serendipitous bricolage.

As varied and spontaneous are the Delray Beach cafe's events -- live music of all sorts, art classes, mini street fairs with dancing and capoeira. That last -- the Brazilian martial art -- and in fact the vitality of the place, the spirit of carnival, reflects the Beat Cup's roots: the four owners whose vision it is are children of Brazil (though three of them were born in Argentina). Tonight they celebrate the cafe's fifth anniversary with a musical line-up of many flavors.

Headliners Lobo Marino, a duo out of Richmond, VA, bring "a mix of tribal, folk and world music featuring the harmonium, drum and various other unique instruments." Miami threesome Bluejay describe themselves as "passionate radical indie soul-folk." All we know about acoustic duo the Sand & the Sea is they must have listened to their share of Mazzy Star.

A DIY project, the Beat Cup grew out of Eric and Carolina Perna's Salon Resta, a similarly boho-esque enterprise in an adjoining space (Resta stands for "recreation, style and art"), where hair is styled amid decor similar to the cafe's. "We started it to service the salon," Carolina's brother, Pablo Sole´, told us. "We had no experience, just an idea."

Within its first year, the Beat Cup was hosting bi-weekly jam sessions that drew up to 30 or 40 players at a time, Pablo told us. Events have fluctuated in style and size since then, he said, "growing consistently and organically."

The cafe's various chores are divided among the brothers and their partners. Eric ("the hippy," Pablo said -- and artist and musician) curates the art and music, Carolina oversees social media and marketing, while Pablo and his wife, Guety, direct the cafe's day to day operations.

Pablo, a year-and-a-half ago, left an executive sales position with Cisco Systems to manage the cafe full-time. He may go back to that since the cafe's finances have only been strong enough to break even, with no salary for its owners.

"We're still kind of under the radar," Pablo said. And the cafe's location, away from Delray's entertainment and dining strip along Atlantic Avenue, contributes to that. We like it that way, like a hothouse flower. And for those to whom it's new, tonight's anniversary party is a good chance to get to know it.

Beat Cup Cafe Fifth Anniversary Party. Tonight, January 16, 7 p.m. to midnight. Music at 9 p.m., 660 Linton Blvd, Suite 109, Delray Beach. Call 561-330-4693.

Fire Ant -- an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes-fatal sting -- covers Palm Beach County. Got feedback or a tip? Contact Fire.Ant@BrowardPalmBeach.com.

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