I’ve always thought of the coffee shop as a rescue mission from the bar scene. I’ve been to famous coffee shops like Les Deux Magots in the St. Germain-des-Pres area of Paris and to several well-known ones in New York City, too. One would think that the local coffee shops would be something of a come-down compared to Le Figaro Café in Greenwich Village or the late John Lennon’s favorite New York City coffee house haunt, La Fortuna, not far from the Dakota Arms where he died. I heard recently that La Fortuna was closing and Lennon’s favorite table given to Yoko Ono as a memento, and that is a shame. La Fortuna was cramped, but unique, and had both interesting clientele and the real deal in terms of coffee and Italian pastries.
Truth to tell, our local coffee shops don’t compare to the ones in the world’s chic neighborhoods, but that doesn’t mean our local coffee shops are entire without their charms. After all, a coffee shop is primarily a place that จำหน่าย ขาย เมล็ดกาแฟ; it may have a lot of secondary purposes, and that’s usually what makes a person favor one over another.
We have a Starbucks on Main Street in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and there are many people who walk around the downtown with cardboard cups of latte or café macchiato or other coffee treats. That Starbucks does have good coffee, and decent service and the usual variety of piped-in music but, for me, it’s lacking in personality. The staff is friendly but the chairs aren’t. Though the Stroudsburg Starbucks is roomy, it reminds me of an Ikea retail store. The Feng Shue is all wrong. You can get a Wi-Fi hookup if you like public typing but I’m too self-conscious to type in a coffee shop. Hemingway, Camus, and Sartre used to hang out at Les Deux Magots-I can’t imagine any of those guys sitting there mesmerized by an electronic keyboard. Unless I am to meet a friend at Starbucks, or must do some business in the town, I usually go to another coffee shop.
I like café-bookstores; those two elements seem to go well together. Our local Border’s Bookstore has a coffee shop in the rear, called a “Seattle’s Best.” I’m not sure why “Seattle’s Best” is separate from Border’s Books but the people who work there tell me that they are. The Border’s Bookstore-Seattle’s Best Café is located on Rte 611, just half a mile north of Stroudsburg. The Border’s bookstore is significant in size and content, with DVDs, novelty items, and plenty of books, well organized in sections, and computers arrayed around to help in locating specific titles. Seattle’s Best Coffee Shop is integrated into the scheme of things and there’s a choice of armchairs and café-style tables and chairs. The greatest thing about this bookstore-café is that it is welcoming. It is a favorite spot of tutoring, for spot reading, for buying books and drinking coffee. The coffee shop hosts literary events for adults and children and has music on weekends. You can take books or magazines off the shelves for, go back to read in the chairs, and buy what you like. Border’s Bookstore – Seattle’s Best doesn’t open until 9:00 a.m. and its closing hours vary. From Monday through Thursday, the store and café close at 10:00 p.m, 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, but stays open until 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Further up the road, also on Route 611, in the village of Bartonsville where Dale’s Coffee Shop is located. It is an unpretentious place, clean and well-run. Dale’s Coffee Shop has a decent sandwich menu; the prices are very reasonable and the help is friendly. Dale’s has its loyal adherents, patrons of the post office next door, the nearby pool hall, and people who work in the area or drive by on the busy thoroughfare. It’s comfortable, yet not a place to socialize. I like to have coffee or a sandwich at Dale’s when I want to spend a few quiet moments while going about my business. There is no Wi-Fi hookup, so it’s not a place to indulge your literary pretensions. But F. Scott Fitzgerald would probably enjoy the coffee-it’s very good. Dale’s Coffee Café opens early (6:00 a.m.) to catch the morning go-to-work crowd and closes at 7:00 p.m.
The new joint in town is also on Rte 611, in Stroud Township, just north of Stroudsburg. In fact, it’s very close to Border’s Bookstore, mentioned previously. You can see one from the other. It’s called Panera and I don’t know if it qualifies as a “coffee shop” per se but it’s a good place for coffee and a bagel, coffee and pastries, or coffee with anything. Panera is a chain that advertises “artisan” bread, pastries, sandwiches, soups, and generally light fare. The local Panera is popular with young and old and is often crowded. Younger people like it because it has a very good Wi-Fi connection and coffee is not as expensive as it is in Starbucks. Older people like it because it is conventional in appearance, also has an Ikea look, a fast-food modus operandi, and because the food is generally good, and the ambiance slightly above diner fare. In summer, Panera has an outdoor café which is popular when the sun moves to the opposite side of the building. Panera is open for breakfast, typically around 6:30 a.m and there is a variety of fresh pastries and bagels waiting for early morning customers. The local Panera closes at 9:00 p.m. but business tends to fall off in the early evening.