Conspire's death and resurrection is now complete. The graffiti mural-covered brick walls have been lathered with several solid coats of blue paint; the shed in the back that housed "the free store" is gone; and the outdoor stage that hosted so many artists, belly dancers, and bands is bare. One would think things were getting serious over there, except for the large spray-painted signs out front advertising a new name: Rainbow Unicorn Café.
At first, we thought it was an early April Fool's joke. Then we worried they might be serious.
Thankfully, they're not. Conspire is still Conspire, complete with anarchist library, gallery, and boutique. The large wooden sign out front is a "community art wall" that will change frequently. So The Rainbow Unicorn Cafe is not for real. But then we got to thinking, what if Conspire did re-name itself, but with something that didn't sound like you'd shit glitter after eating magic muffins there?
We can think of five other things Conspire could call itself:
Conspired; Where Conspire Used to Be; or The Café Formerly Known as Conspire: Because that's what everybody's always going to call it anyway.
Vegan Bleu: This name conveys three major aspects of the new Conspire: they serve vegan food, the building is blue, and it looked more refined (hence the French).
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No More Java or Coffee Free: Up until former owner John Sagasta moved across the street to open Jobot Coffee Shop last October, Conspire was known for its awesome cups o'joe - so much so that some smoothie servers got tired of telling people they didn't serve coffee anymore. We heard one exasperrated girl snip, "We don't serve anything caffeinated here" to a confused customer. A name like No More Java or Coffee Free or Damnit, We Don't Serve Coffee Anymore would relieve servers of that burden.
Soy Bomb: A tribute to artist Michael Portnoy, who hijacked Bob Dylan's performance at the 1998 Grammys by ripping off his shirt and dancing dramatically in the background with the words "Soy Bomb" written in black across his chest (see video below). The name's already synonymous with quirky guerilla art, but also captures the "organic revolution" vibe at Conspire and its neighbor, the urban farm Roosevelt Grow House.
The Groovy Garfield House of Happiness and Colorful Community: It's not as "concrete" or visual as "The Rainbow Unicorn Café," but still throws out fuzzy hippie-anarchist cheeseball vibes.
Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and PHOENIX magazine, and is now a full-time freelancer.