Saturday, December 29, 2007

Neighborhood Cafes: The Great Third Place

The "third place" (i.e. the place that is neither your home nor your job, but a gathering spot where you like to hang out) was popularized in Ray Oldenburg's 1999, The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community.

Cafes are surely my favorite third place since I love coffee, like to freeload WiFi, and enjoy a change of scenery every now and again. Since moving to St. Paul, I've discovered some great little cafes tucked right into residential neighborhoods. My current favorites include:

J & S Bean Factory

-- Hamline Midway location @ Thomas and Hamline
-- Highland location on Randolph just off of Snelling

Java Train
-- in the Como Park neighborhood on Pascal, just north of Midway Parkway.

Swede Hollow Cafe -- in the Swede Hollow/Dayton's Bluff neighborhood on East 7th.

Nina's Coffee Cafe (pictured above)--in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood on Selby @ Western.

Jerabek's on the Westside is on my list to check out ASAP-- but I haven't made it there yet. Readers, what are your favorite St. Paul and Minneapolis coffee shops?

Image: Allen Zumach photo art.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just went to Rudie's on West 7th for the first time this past Saturday. I finally found a coffeshop where I fit in - piped in music ranging from Van Halen to Psychedelic Furs, scary red walls, black tables, a restroom labeld "Potty Room", and a barissta (owner?) in a tank top displaying her many tattoos - a great place. Not a lot of seating, not quiet, just "coziness" and one of the best cups of coffee I have had in a while.

I also have become of huge fan of White Rock Coffee based out of Highland Park. The coffee is out of this world and is served in many restaurants around town - including The Egg and I on 280/University. Apparently the owner of White Rock makes random visits to the restaurants he supplies and tests the coffee. If it doesn't meet his standards he makes them rebrew. That sold me. There are two White Rock Coffeeshops. One is on Snelling avenue just south of Raymond and north of Highland Parkway on the west side of the road. It's tucked in a little strip of shops but well worth the trip. The other is in Highland Park across from the theater and next to The Highland Grill.

Jen B.