1 East Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA

mon-fri 7 am - 8 pm
Saturday 8 am - 8 pm


On the Web:


Loosen up at the goose
By Amanda Koeck

It was around 1:30, I just got out of class and I was starving. Itís gotten to the point that the only place that I can tolerate eating at on campus is the Whitmore Cafť; quite frankly, Iíve had enough of that too. I had some time to kill before I had to start yet another dumb assignment for one of those classes I would have dropped if Iíd realized it in the two weeks they give at UMass to decide those things. I got on the next bus headed downtown and then hopped off at the stop across from the Western Massachusetts Bank.

From the window I could see about 10 customers in the joint and two people behind the counter cutting tomatoes and spreading stuff on bread for lunch at the Loose Goose Cafe. I walked in and looked up from the black and white checkered floor to see a menu full of sandwiches named after all the great jazz musicians written on a chalkboard where I found they serve breakfast sandwiches all day along with muffins, bagels and scones. I already had my coffee and cigarettes that morning so I went for the Main Event, which is the list of sandwiches they serve for lunch. I ordered at the counter the Thelonius, named after one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, Thelonius Monk. It was windy and it looked like it might rain so I opted to dine inside by the window where I watched cars, trucks and passers by while I waited for my sandwich and drank my self-served Barqís root beer. The clarinet version of My Favorite Things, by John Coltrane was playing. When the dog bites was when I heard my name being called. I went back to the counter to get my sandwich. Oh, it was be-bop-alicious with roast beef, fresh tomatoes and green leaf, topped with a spicy horseradish spread, I chose to have the sandwich on a baguette.

There were all sorts of people there. Students studying, students with, what I thought, were their parents, older people, messy looking people, professionals and business types. I finished up my sandwich and the pickle and chips that came with it. I wanted to talk to the owner, but if heís the guy I think he is, he was way too busy to talk to me.

When I went into the bathroom I found walls of slate with sidewalk chalk for writing. This is the first place Iíve been to where they welcome graffiti. I put up my own Kilroy and headed out the door. There were more people now. I heard the cash register slam shut and open, shut and open and names being called. The workers, diligently working toward their own lunch break Iím sure. I overheard conversations and machinery.

My guess is that the owner of this place really digs jazz music, given the menu choices and the background music, plus thereís live jazz music played every Friday night at the Loose Goose. Owning a theme kind of cafť in downtown Amherst seems like the way to go. The community is so diverse, if you can hit on the nerves of just a few people, thereís a good chance that business will be steady. Add good food with good service and youíve achieved success.

The breakfast sandwiches go for about $3 while the Main Event will cost around $7 add the drink and well-deserved tip and figure yourself full and $10 poorer.


This website was created by the students of Journalism 375 at the University of Massachusetts 2005