Cafe Review: Tempo

Story by Breann Schossow


It’s the end of the semester. I don’t drink anything these days unless it’s more than 90 percent caffeine. Despite that, I started crashing around 11 p.m. Monday and needed a coffee fix.

Lucky for me, a new coffee place in Eau Claire offers service ’round the clock, so I headed downtown to Tempo on Madison Avenue (near Phoenix Park) with a few friends.

After perusing the menu, I gave up and put my faith in the barista’s recommendation. He suggested a Mocha, which fits my current beverage standards and has chocolate. Not to mention we negotiated the addition of an extra shot of espresso, which was a point in the shop’s favor.

I was surprised by how small Tempo is. It’s cozy, but the interior design is rather complex. The room is painted in a variety of colors, from red to lime green. The wall behind the copper-plated coffee bar appears to be rusty, with dull reds, golds and silvers.

The furniture is rather contradictory. Half of the shop has tall, retro-themed tables and chairs, which I loved. The other half looks as though it would be at home in a trendy hotel, what with a futuristic gray couch, glass coffee table and a “funhouse” mirror. It’s pretty, but very different. In a battle between the two, I picked retro and sat at one of the tables.

The menu is small, offering the basics of a coffee shop – lattes, espresso, Americano, etc. The shop also serves treats from Obsession Chocolates. In addition, there is ice cream on the menu, which I think adds to the appeal of the place. I hope the menu will grow with time as the business ages, because I’d like more beverage options.

The drink I purchased this time, the Mocha, was fairly good. It had just the right amount of chocolate and was not too sweet. I purchased a 20-ounce cup, which was about $5 (one of the higher priced items on the menu). I didn’t stay long enough to try another beverage, but I’d like to try the house coffee in the future, which is $1.60 a cup.

Tempo is taking baby steps right now, but I think it could be a great addition to the coffee house scene due to its location in the blossoming downtown area, and its proximity to Phoenix Park.