Despite being a 24-hour city, Las Vegas has only one place to sit down for coffee at all hours of the day. Madhouse Coffee is located on Durango Drive and Desert Inn Road. 16 years after opening its doors, Madhouse has become a staple to the local cafe scene.
Edward De La Rosa, the general manager, insists on “keeping everything as local as possible.” He notes that ingredients like the coffee beans and artisanal breads come from around the community. The roast is Madhouse’s own blend and the dough is made fresh daily in a nearby bakery.
“We’re not a push-and-pull sort of a restaurant,” said De La Rosa. “We don’t use machines. Everything here is done artisanal—it’s craft coffee.”
In addition to using locally-sourced elements, the coffee-making process at Madhouse is a hands-on experience. Baristas weigh out espresso shots, measure the ratios of microfoam to espresso and even handcraft Kyoto-style coffee.
Madhouse is open for 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There is little difference in business during the morning hours versus the evening hours.
“[Madhouse gets] a bunch of different vibes going here, like in the morning we get more of the people going to and from school, a lot of moms dropping their kids off, or just people going in for the morning,” said De La Rosa. “Whereas it coasts into the mid-afternoon, we see a lot of students, or a lot of people coming here for hangouts and friendly dates as well. And then at night, the music changes to more electronic. [Madhouse is] not clubby, but it has an atmosphere for sure.”
The outdoor patio seating is where De La Rosa usually finds customers sipping their cappuccinos and up-in-smoke in the shop’s hookah lounge.
“It’s a really tight-knit community. Everybody here knows each other,” he said.
De La Rosa said that patrons of all ages frequent the shop. The community De La Rosa referred to largely consists of students, artists and musicians.
Madhouse does not currently host live performances, but this is something that the shop is always open to because there have been some in the past.
Customers often come to get a taste of its most popular item, the Monkey Mocha. This drink is a chocolate chip, peanut butter, and banana medley, and has been a staple of the menu for many years.
De La Rosa’s own featured drink, the Green Goddess is an up-and-coming addition. He recalls that the idea for this drink came to him in a dream, and it contains pistachio, rose, and matcha latte.
Madhouse is serving up a variety of pumpkin-flavored brews in preparation for fall, including the pumpkin pie white mocha, latte, chai, and matcha.
Owner Marco Prestia’s favorite part about working for Madhouse has a lot to do with the social interactions, and less to do with the challenges of managing baristas.
“I’m so lucky because I have Edward taking care of all of the patience,” said Prestia.
Madhouse currently has no plan to open any other locations within Las Vegas, nor are there locations in other states. But, according to Prestia, Madhouse is here to stay.
“We’re going to be here for at least 200 more years,” he said.