As a slacker teen, I was lucky enough to get a job at a coffee house called The Noble Bean on Camp Bowie, next to the old Sardines Restaurant. We didn’t really do much in the way of work – we mostly sat around and hung out with our fellow slackers – but it did spark my love for coffee and affection for coffee houses.
But here in the Fort, there aren’t many locally owned coffee houses. There are tons of Starbucks, but that hardly counts. I’m referring to the type of independent coffee houses that host poetry nights and bands, employ otherwise unemployable musicians, breed coffee snobbery, throw around coffee estates like wine vintages, and provide a place for young ne’er do wells and muckabouts to waste their youth.
I know of a few, and thought it might be worth passing on the info, so the next generation of angsty slacker kids can develop a poor work ethic, just as I did.
Avoca Coffee (1311 W. Magnolia Ave.)
Now this is what I’m talkin’ ‘bout. The Southside hipster magnet roasts its own beans, has a cool vibe, and the service is friendly. The drinks are a little pricey, but I for one am OK with paying half a buck more at an indie place, rather than throwing my money down the corporate well. (In the interest of full disclosure, I am drinking coffee from Starbucks as I write).
Bon Giorno Coffee (915 Florence St.)
A lot of people don’t know about this little beanery on the outskirts of downtown, but I think it’s vastly underrated. The original location is in Grapevine, where its beans are roasted.
Brewed (801 W. Magnolia Ave.)
Part gastropub and coffee house, Brewed has comfy couches and plenty of room for wasting time pretending to study. It gets a little busy at night, but it’s a great place for the aspiring novelist to go during the day to make sure other people know he or she is working on a novel.
Stay Wired Coffee House and Computer Service (2918 W. Berry St.)
This place is the one that most closely resembles my ghosts of coffee houses past – mostly because the staff is so young, and every time I visit there’s a guy who only vaguely knows how to play guitar strumming away. But it’s got a cool indie vibe, and a decent product.
The Cup (3909 Camp Bowie Blvd.)
The Westside java joint has a ladies-who-lunch atmosphere, but it’s still a cool place. It’s extremely laid back, the staff is young and friendly, and the product is good.
This list is by no means comprehensive, just my personal favorites. If you know of any others, feel free to list them.