New Dubai cafe brings together classic rock music and coffee

A classic rock themed coffee shop brings an edgy new addition to Dubai's coffee scene.

A sneak peek into the The Classic Rock Coffee Company. Satish Kumar / The National
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Dubai’s coffee scene has an edgy new addition. Classic Rock Coffee opens its doors tomorrow, the first cafe in the Middle East from the relatively new American company.

This isn’t your typical, relaxing coffee shop – and it’s not supposed to be. When Kent Morrison, the American creator of Classic Rock Coffee, came up with the concept, he wanted a lively atmosphere (coffee is, after all, a stimulant). So he married high-quality coffee with classic rock music and the company was born.

One look at the concept and Irfan Izhar, the managing director of Visions Corporation, was sold. He knew at once that it would do well in Dubai and was intent on bringing it here.

Located in Dubai Healthcare City, the cafe has guitars and classic rock memorabilia lining its walls. Instead of tables, guests enjoy their cuppa while seated at large drums (which they can also play). There are LPs (long-playing records), LP players and a rock music library.

Got a guitar? Bring it in for a jam session. If you’re not in the mood for what’s playing, you can choose your own rock music on a jukebox and listen on wireless headphones provided by the cafe.

This, Izhar stresses, is a place for rock-music fans, “something the UAE is lacking”.

“Any place you go for rock music, they serve liquor. Many people in this country don’t want to go there, but they want to enjoy some rock music. People can come with their families, people who don’t want to go to bars and want to enjoy rock music with coffee – this is the right place for them. That’s the culture behind it,” says Izhar.

The coffee is high-quality and sourced from around the world. It’s roasted right in the cafe and the drinks are named after songs only rock fans will recognise – Dirty White Boy, Sweet Emotion and Black Betty, to name a few. Soups, salads and sandwiches are also available, along with smoothies and high-protein energy drinks.

Izhar is confident the rock cafe will do well: “It’s a full classic-rock theme. For music lovers, this place is great.”

He’s already working on another 5,000 square-feet location that will double as a concert venue. The big plan is to open 11 locations across the UAE by December 2015.

• Classic Rock Coffee Company at Dubai Healthcare City is open from 7am to 10pm daily. Visit