Rocket Cat Cafe opened it's door in 2003. The interior was pleasing to the eye while enjoying delicious vegan and non-vegan foods, a cool atmosphere and locally roasted, organic coffee. Food was made to order and enjoyed on the outdoor patio or on a comfy couch or table.*
The cafe exhibited the art of aspiring artist that covered the interior walls on First Friday's. It's exterior wall, fence and garage were covered with murals and smaller paintings. This was a continuation of the outsider art on the garage long before they opened.
It didn't take long for the cafe to be embraced by the new influx of artist, young adults and discriminating coffee drinkers. It was the only quiet place where you could find food and beverage around the area. This quickly evolved into loyal customers.
Shepard Fairey came to Philly on April 23, 2010 and applied art to the side of the coffee shop building: "Revolution Girl." His work lasted while gradually fading and tagged until in 2013 when it was spray painted over with graffiti. Efforts were unsuccessful to save and restore it.
Another contemporary American street artist, Swoon, completed her installment of "Sonia" in October of 2015. This was pasted over the outline remnants of Fairey's mural.
Rocket Cat Cafe had it's own comfortable atmosphere and mounting problems. It was a private space for whoever needed some in a public place. It was a place for meeting people and hanging out in a building that had slowly deteriorated.
All of this as it maintained a certain artistic spirit characteristic that's been fading out in Fishtown as high priced gentrification continues to roll in. It was the last bastion of free flowing new and outsider art in Fishtown. It will be missed.
Rocket cat photos above and below
The last original outsider art work
Below: newer work by La Josh. The Columbia Ave I-95 underpass once was filled by his art.
Below: Swoon finishing "Sonia."
Below: a faded mural and memory of Pocahontas
words and pictures by roman blazic_all rights reserved
two photos from rocket cat as noted