The buzz around town: local coffee shops


Common Grounds

2812 E. Douglas, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sundays; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday

As the newest shop on the list, located in what once was someone’s home, Common Grounds offers a distinct feel all its own.

Open all week long, and later on Friday and Saturday nights, the coffee shop is a fun hangout for those seeking a close, cozy atmosphere to share with friends.

Traditional living room seating provides a quirky backdrop and a typical coffee house environment for the occasional live music. 

Student-friendly prices make this a coffee-junkie’s must try.

Watermark Books and Cafe

4701 E. Douglas Ave., 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

For those seeking a cozy nook for reading or studying, Watermark Books and Café may be the perfect place.

Outside noises fall away at the door of the bookstore, while inside, traditional café sounds drift out from behind the counter. The café offers cleverly named specialty coffee drinks such as the Jane Eyre and Dr. Zhivago, as well as coffee, teas and juices at wallet-friendly prices. 

For those looking to get involved with fellow booklovers, the store also sponsors many local book clubs and features book signings and guest speakers periodically.

In general, Watermark is a comfortable, welcoming place to study or read without many distractions.

Mead’s Corner

430 E. Douglas Ave., 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday; 7 1 1p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday

For those searching for a more religious community, Mead’s may be the place to visit.

Weekends on this corner are often filled with open mic nights, religious group gatherings and church services.

The long, narrow building offers plenty of seating and a warm, welcoming environment for chatting with friends after a long week. 

While the prices are similar to those at Starbucks, the open mic nights provide a glimpse of local talent not often available in other places and 10 percent of your bill goes to charity.

Barnes & Noble

1920 N. Rock Rd., 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Starbucks coffee, Cheesecake Factory desserts and stuffed pizza pretzels make Barnes and Noble Café a must visit for the hungry reader.

In such a large, open space, there is more noise than in smaller, local coffee shops; however, one bite of Red Velvet Cheesecake makes the distractions worthwhile. 

Browsing the rows and rows of books in the store with a hot drink in hand is a wonderful way to pass a lazy Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, the mid-priced menu items may make this option more of a treat than a regular pastime for those on the college student budget.