I have two real vices in life — coffee and wine. Which is why I see that knowing that the Local Buzz in Cape Elizabeth is barely a 10-minute drive from Portland is going to be one of the best bad ideas I’ve ever had.

The Local Buzz started like any good bar joke. A lawyer (Jamie Wagner), a doctor (Samir Haydar) and a businessman (David Leopold) decided that Greater Portland was very much in need of a place where people could gather and toss back a beer while sinking into the plushness of a leather couch. A place where they could nosh on a primarily tapas and locally supplied menu while sipping on a glass of wine.

“We are looking to attract an eclectic crowd to a vibrant and cool space,” said restaurant manager Dawn LaPointe, who beat out 100 other applicants in an intense search. With themed events, including Jazz Nights and one absurdly fun and entertaining Belly Dancing Night, locals are coming out in droves to experience the atmosphere.

When I arrived on a Monday night, I found a large group around the bar chatting and looking over glossy photos of what appeared to be a school-age soccer team. “We do a ‘Guest Bartender Night’ fundraiser every Monday for local charities,” said Wagner. Someone from the organization donates his time to organize and host the event at the Local Buzz, and part of the tips and sales from the night go to the charities.

Best guest bartender so far? One of the local churches hosted a charity night, and its pastor was behind the bar slinging drinks and laughing and chatting it up. (Methinks he might have a second calling.)

After taking in the colorful green walls and bright-red leather chairs (super comfy!), you’ll also note a large farmhouse-type table in the right corner by the window that can be reserved for your meeting, study group or book club. Yes, I will definitely be taking advantage of that feature and forming a book club to meet. Even if it is just to drink the fabulous Kaiken Malbec ($9/glass) that our barista/waitress Grace recommended.

If red wine isn’t your thing, don’t be concerned. With a seasonally rotating wine selection of about 25 to 30 wines, you will definitely find something that appeals to you. The same goes for the beer, which is mostly local brews on draft and a bottled selection that rivals that of most bars. Of course, if microbrews aren’t your favorite, there’s always the standby Bud Light ($3), described simply as ” ‘Nuff said.”

Craftily combining the upscale sophistication of a wine bar and the casual comfort of a local indie coffee shop, the unique twist makes the Local Buzz a place for anyone looking for a quiet place to meet up with a group, a date or just a book and a Rogue Chocolate Stout ($7.50).

Elisa Doucette is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.