It’s officially fall here in Denver, Colorado. For all that’s holy, I mean FINALLY! I’ve never been a flirty summer dress and flip-flops gal. Nosireebob. I’m a bundle-up like its the second coming of the Ice Age and put on some damn BOOTS girl. Quirky, vintage wool hats, tights, dresses and boots – that’s how The Redhead prefers to roll. On a semi-related note, I really enjoyed the Ice Age movies. The squirrel chasing the nut had me in stitches. But I digress. Today’s blog is partially sponsored by kickass boots. I own several pairs and Anthropologie, Smart Bargains, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Charles David and Steve Madden should all be thankful I’m a boot whore with disposable income. I could be spending this shit on hookers and blow, but I chose boots. I should go on a speaking circuit at local high schools.
Now, to go along with the cusp of winter approaching (and for some of you, it might already have arrived), some of my best work days are spent at local coffee shops. You know it, I know it: Starbucks single-handedly redefined the business meeting when they moved in comfy chairs, modern jazz and WiFi close to a coffee-dispensing machine. They call ’em Barristas, I say “machines.” But who am I to judge? They all have better health care benefits than I do. I’m digressing again.
When you work from home and your sofa/bed/backyard are your office on any given day, it can be a real treat to take yourself out for a work date. Y’know – shower, put on a little lip gloss, the requisite pair of kickass boots and get thine ass straight to a very non-Starbucks location to Get. Shit. Done.
There’s lots that goes into making a coffee shop a go-to destination for me and the boots, however:
- Reliable WiFi – don’t fence me in, don’t kick me off very fifteen minutes.
- Music – reasonable levels, please. I can’t think or take calls if you crank it like it’s a Guns-N-Roses concert back in 1992.
- Outlets – laptop batteries are for shit and I need to plug in. Please don’t make it hard on me.
- Selection – I avoid dairy at most costs and don’t eat soy, so I’m looking for destinations with rice milk, almond milk or (gasp) coconut milk so I can sip, rock and roll.
- Attitude – get shitty with me and I’ll never return. I tip well, and even more so if I’m camping out all day.
- Snaaaaaacks – if I’m there all day, I don’t want to leave for lunch and come back. You’ve got nummies, I’ve got monies. And I hope you can heat it up, because I like warm food.
So, if you’re in Denver or ever out Denver/Boulder way, here’s my list of preferred coffices <<< term for coffee-fueled offices. Denver coffee shops for working (and a gem from Boulder thrown in to boot…heh, I said “boot”).
St. Mark’s (17th & Vine) – The first-ever coffee shop I stopped into when I moved to Denver, they make a mean dirty chai an have extensive seating and even more electrical outlets. You won’t tip the tables over because they’re heavy-like-Betty granite. The folks behind the counter are super-duper friendly and if I need to go face-first into a gluten coma, they have the best scones in the city (Denver and Boulder combined) and they’re baked fresh daily. Hint: the line goes TOWARDS the front door and if you prefer Stevia to pink & blue packets, bring your own. They give a discount if you bring your own cup/mug, too.
Michelangelo’s (Broadway & Ellsworth) – Adorable. I found this place on a first Match.com date back in the winter of 2008 (it was Rich – great dude, incredible friend). Not only do they have fabulous breakfast and lunch selections (the salads are divine), they have a killer hot tea spread, too. This is what I usually order here, as they don’t have alternative milks. The staff is always friendly and the WiFi is free. Water is complimentary and seating is plush. If you want to swing by later in the afternoon/early evening, it turns into a wine bar and has live music a few times per week. A best-kept secret here in D-town.
Cafe Europa (Pennsylvania & Bayaud) – Food? Awesome, everything from traditional breakfast to hot sandwiches and soup at lunch. Hot tea? Shut the door. HUGE selection. Chai? Da bomb. Alternative milks? Rice AND Almond, thankyouverymuch. Seating and outlets? Plentiful. WiFi? It will not fuck you. Downside? They often play music at mosh pit/rave volume, making it incompatible with my preferred working style some days. I go here when I can hunker down and know I don’t need to take calls. The staff is incredible and I truly enjoy the atmosphere.
Hooked on Colfax (Colfax & Steele) – Food? Not so much, but they do have gluten-free snackies. Alternative milks? Almond and rice, which is a huge plus. I adore the art for sale from local artists on the walls but seating is scarce and the employees always seem to come smoke on the back patio where I’m sitting (which I find tasteless). This is a fly-by for coffee-to-go, and a local business I’m happy to support when grab-and-go is my M.O.
The Laughing Goat – Boulder (Pearl & 17th) – Friendly staff and a great work environment make this a must for my work days up in Boulder. There is also a Denver location as well, but I haven’t yet gone. they have loads of gluten-free snackies as well as alternative milks and the staff is patient and accurate, even when they’re slammed. While the WiFi has sometimes been spotty, it’s a peaceful environment where I can work and take meetings, keeping it on my list. Oh – and don’t miss the foam art in your latte! (BUNNIES!!!)
So now, back to YOU. What makes your coffice a keeper on your list? Share your favorites and give them a linkback in the comments (note: links will usually cause comments to be held for moderation, but I’ll get them approved as soon as possible). I’m traveling all the time and would love some must-visit local coffee shops to add to my list. After all, they’re business owners – just like us.