Performing at Bus Stop Music Cafe in Pitman NJ

Performing at Bus Stop Music Cafe in Pitman NJ

(Editor’s note: I’ve covered the Bus Stop Music Cafe before, but my pictures are nowhere near as awesome. Plus, Josh is a journalism student with a little more flair when it comes to description.)

The Bus Stop Music Café is a charming little coffee house nestled in downtown Pitman. Every Tuesday night from 7pm to 11pm, the lights dim, and are replaced by the warmth of lava lamps and twinkling strands of Christmas tree bulbs. Vic Martinson, owner and operator, sets out a few microphones, an amplifier and a blank clipboard. Over the next few hours, local musicians from all around will come to entertain customers at the weekly open mic, pausing only to enjoy some of the delicious drinks offered at the coffee bar. For a few brief hours the Café seems to exist as a cozy bastion, set apart from the rigors of everyday life, the inviting orange glow from inside drawing in weary travelers for a hot cup and some good tunes.

The Café opened in late 2005, and after four years it has a strong group of regulars. The atmosphere is comfortable, like a hole-in-the-wall bar without the cigarette smoke and the drunks. Seating is plentiful, and the café is filled with musical instruments of all kinds. Records and posters displaying imagery from every genre of music adorn the walls. This is mimicked in the variety of performers, who play everything from classic rock to emo, and 20’s blues to indie/soul.

The backend of Bus Stop

The back end of Bus Stop

Bus Stop welcomes newcomers warmly, with a hearty round of applause and a quiet attentiveness despite the fact that the Café is packed. Listeners are respectful of the artists, keeping conversation to a whisper during performances, and offering nothing but encouragement at the end of each song.

The coffee bar is joined by a full kitchen and a selection of gourmet ice creams, including seasonal flavors like pumpkin. A large compliment of organic products and Izze beverages are available as well, all at a very reasonable price. The back of the Café sports a small music shop, with guitar strings, tuners and other necessary supplies for the artist-in-need along with a fairly sizable selection of incense.

Theyve got an impressive music selection and interesting coffees.

They've got an impressive music selection and interesting coffees.

The main focus of the shop is the large music store set into the back corner. Bus stop has a veritable library of CDs, cassette tapes, and even old-school vinyl records for sale. They even have a special section dedicated to local artists.

Anyone is welcome at the open mic, regardless of skill level, provided there’s nothing too profane in the music. Bus Stop is a family venue, so swearing and “adult” language are discouraged. While alcohol is not served on the premises, there is a B.Y.O.B. policy in effect.



Bus Stop doesn’t have its own website, so for any more info about the open mic, or anything else concerning the café call them at 856-582-0009 or come in and ask. Questions are always welcome.

Thank you Josh!

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