It’s odd. I don’t drink coffee, yet coffee houses are some of my favorite places to stop and get a beverage (usually Chai tea latte). And I have found, due to the plentitude of these spots, they are great places to meet people for business or pleasure. Throw in free Wi-Fi and you’ve got a great hangout.
Nearly everyone knows where the nearest coffee house is. Not sure? It’s easy to find out. I was at a social event and our family wanted to congregate afterward at the local Starbucks. But we weren’t quite sure where the closest one was. Out comes my wireless device and a few clicks later, we found it – a few miles up the road.
It seems that for many, coffee houses have replaced the local bar as a hangout. Though I’m sure the liquor industry isn’t suffering, coffee houses do offer a few similarities: a person who prepares your beverage (a barista, not a bartender), a wide selection of drinks to choose from, a cozy atmosphere and music playing. Granted the local bar does offer some things a coffee house doesn’t – the obnoxious drunk who is talking too loud (unless it’s possible to get intoxicated on caffeine?). Which leads me to wonder – did the coffee house proprietors take their cue from bars?
Regardless, I’d rather spend my time in a coffee house than a bar any day. And it’s safe to bring children (who are only allowed to drink decaf but are probably more adept at ordering the half caff soy latte double shots than I am).
– Sue Voyles