The name Brainery Cafe was chose for my love of academia, but also the opportunity to playfully poke fun at it a little bit. I'm a PhD candidate and being around academics all day, every day you get to see just how silly and over the top they can be. To get a good idea for the silly and playful feel I'm shooting for in general check out some of the comics at http://phdcomics.com/comics.php.
Getting a little more into the nitty-gritty of the design, I really like all four logos in the example logo I've attached. Specifically the two with color. I like the simple feel and warm, enjoyable colors. The out of place longboard pic shows the color design I would like logo (specifically the bottom of the deck with the blue, pinkish-red, and creme colors). I do like the wood look as well but not sure how it would look in the logo, but you're welcome to play with it, just as to look good in a variety of different settings (web, print, business cards, etc.). The other two images attached are just some other images I came across while looking for logos that I liked. Specifically I liked the colors, simple images and feel to them.
One thing I'm not looking for is any sort of illustration with a brain and a coffee cup. I figure that's a little too simple and cliche considering the name.
Hopefully I made a little bit of sense in what I've just written and provided a reasonable foundation to start designing from. You're more than welcome to reach out to me with questions or clarification through the standard channels on 99designs's platform. Thank you and I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!