When we popped into CNN anchor Holly Firfer and husband Shawn Arnold‘s new coffee shop this week, Arnold was unveiling The Funky Monkey Coffeehouse’s latest creation: The Mint Chocolate Chimp.
Arnold told Dish the summer-inspired iced mint mocha drink tastes suspiciously like a product Girl Scouts dole out annually like cookie crack.
The shabby chic coffee joint has only been officially open two weeks but the comfy casual atmosphere was already wall to wall with inhabitants this week.
Sinking into a chair, Arnold explained: “We want people to feel like this is their living room away from home.”
With free WiFi, customers were busy working on laptops and holding business casual meetings at the large farm table across the room.
“Unlike a certain corporate coffee chain, we’re not worried about moving you along either,” said Firfer. “We want this to have more of a community feeling.”
Arnold, a guitarist who formerly gigged around the country as a member of Memory Dean, is opening up the evenings to musicians as well.
“But it’s going to be for people our age, in their 30s and 40s, who now have kids,” he said. “I’m looking at booking some early evening shows where you can bring your kids, play some board games, have some coffee, enjoy a little music and be home at a reasonable hour. I still have friends who call up and ask me to come out to their gigs and tell me, ‘We go on at 11:30.’ These days, I’ve been asleep for half an hour at 11:30!”
In addition to a “take one, leave one” honor system community book shelf, Firfer, the former co-host of WXIA-TV’s “Atlanta & Company” wants to hang local art on the walls as well.
Her first celeb artist is her former “Atlanta & Company” co-host and friend Tom Sullivan, who is a budding photographer.
Animal Planet viewers will no doubt recall Firfer and Arnold’s memorable episode of “It’s Me or the Dog” where Atlanta-based trainer Victoria Stilwell attempted to reign in their 24/7 chewing machine Kashmir.
Off air, Firfer and Stilwell have become friends and are now co-hosting pet podcasts for Stilwell’s Positively.com website.
“A bad dog resulted in a good friend,” explained Firfer.
And Kashmir’s behavior these days?
Reported Arnold: “Now she only destroys stuff that she’s supposed to destroy like rawhide toys instead of our bank account!”
The Funky Monkey is open Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is located at 660 Irwin Street in the Old Fourth Ward. Join the coffeehouse’s Facebook page to receive daily drink special and event info.