Doesn't it sound like I'm reviewing the Coffee House Junkie, rather than the Coffee House itself? So, this is nearly a week late, but I've been intending to write a review of the ubiquitous Stone's Throw coffee place (it's across the street from the University). Chris and I went for dates 7 and 8 of 10 Great Dates Before You Say "I Do". Yes, we combined two dates. (You do that when you spend 1/3 of the three years you've been dating, living in different towns.) But, I digress.
Coffee Shop: Stone's Throw, off of Kramer Blvd.
The Scene: Fairly academic, seeing as it's across the street from the University. You're really likely to run into someone you know there. In an evening, it's an interesting combination of people on a date, people studying, "that English or Philosophy major with the dyed black hair who is reading a pretentious-looking book in the corner" and just people hanging out. Somehow, it's quieter than Java Express, even though we were sitting as close to the front counter as we were at the other place. I don't know if they have quieter machines or what. So, it's really comfortable for me.
Good For: taking someone somewhere to talk, when you're at the University. Getting an essay written. Dates, if they're the kind where you need to sit down and figure things out.
Hours: spectacular. They close at 11pm most days, which suits me well. As well, they open quite early, and so I have had breakfast there on occasion.
Good points: decent prices, and I hear good things about their desserts. They have a wide variety of tables (bigger ones, small tall ones, plus comfortable chairs around low tables) and the sitting area is on different levels, splitting up the space better. Java Express could take some pointers about space usage from this place: Stone's Throw is also in a strip mall, but it doesn't feel like that. As well, there are lots of places to plug in one's computer. The service is also quite good.
Bad points: you have to pay for the wireless internet! Therefore, I don't use the wireless there.
Does it suit my needs? Well, I can sit there for hours with a chai latte (I recommend the chai latte there), and not feel awkward about how much time I'm wasting. It's also a good place for girls' group coffee meetings, except if you really want to talk about something confidential and it's the middle of the day: you're too likely to run into everyone you know. (Sometimes it's not good to be too close to the school.) Okay, I guess it's not as bad for that as the Roca Jacks inside Campion College, or the coffee place (name?) in the Riddell Centre, but this is the closest you get without being physically inside the University.
Conclusion: this is a good place to go, and yet it's not really exciting to go there. This is more the comfortable old hang-out than somewhere that you look forward to. As well, if you're uncomfortable with an environment that's too academic, this isn't the place for you.
Grade: A. I definitely like it, although it's definitely not my favourite. It does gain bonus points for being a sentimental favourite for Chris and me. (We used to hang out there in our early days.)