Beans coming out of grinder
How Caffe Lena Became The Oldest Coffee Shop In The US

Over a decade before the original Starbucks opened, Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, New York, had already served its first coffee and established itself as a trendsetter.

"The venue was opened in 1960 by a young couple from Boston," The cafe’s Executive Director Sarah Craig, explained. It is named for one-half of that couple, Lena Nargi Spencer.

From the start, the couple were "looking to jump on the folk music coffeehouse trend that was so popular In Greenwich Village and other major cities at that time," notes Craig.

Combining music and coffee, this cafe is the longest continually running coffee shop in the country and the birthplace of legendary folk artists like Bob Dylan and Don McLean.

The legacy of Caffe Lena has been officially recognized by the Grammy Foundation, which honored the coffee shop's significant contribution to the development of American music.

The cafe has also been recognized by the Library of Congress, which has archived a collection of over 500 files documenting the historical events that took

place there.

Caffe Lena also lives on in the local community that frequents it regularly. "Coming to Caffe Lena makes you feel like you're part of something," states Craig.