Caitlin Fertal in her natural pose. Avril Lavigne,
eat your heart out.
Location: This past summer was the first time I had ever visited Kamm's Corner, and much like its only coffee shop, the neighborhood is a very different place before and after sun-down. On my Sunday afternoon visit, the neighborhood was very quiet and relatively dead except for the farmer's market situated behind a Walgreens on Lorain Avenue. Although I prefer quiet neighborhoods, I wasn't impressed with the neighborhood's lack of mixed-use buildings, and its wide roadways. I was impressed, however, with the Walgreen's lack of a frontal parking lot.
The nightlife scene at Common Grounds.
All of the 20- and 30-year-olds were afoot that Thursday at the neighborhood's selection of sports bars, biker bars, divorced-dad bars, Mexican-themed bars and the most special bar of all... Chipotle.
Serving caffeine in absence of alcohol, Common Grounds adds a quirky dimension to Kamm's Corners' nightlife scene. It also allows law-abiding adults under 21 to do something while their older friends get trashed.
Food and Beverage: Common Grounds does not serve decaf coffee... ever. I know some people--mostly Matt--thinks decaf coffee is an abomination, but I find it as a necessary compromise for coffee shop patrons. I mean, the only thing worse than seeing me drunk at night is seeing me caffeinated at night. (Caitlin and her friend Andrew, who joined us Thursday, can attest to this.)
Common Grounds uses thick, non-decorative, Styrofoam
cups. It's like they're not even trying.
I considered ordering one of the signature drinks during my Thursday night visit, but I only had $4 in my wallet and the baristas only accept cash.
Instead, I ordered flavored brew coffee both during my Sunday afternoon and Thursday night visit.
At the same time, the coffee shop has a glass facade to allow plenty of natural light during day-time hours, and has plenty of compelling art decorated around the walls. It also has WiFi, which was used plentifully by patrons both days I visited.
If there was such a thing as an alternative coffee shop, Common Grounds would fit that category. It is gritty unassumingly without breaking any health code violation or law. It's a shame that I've never really heard much about the place in all of the Cleveland coffee shop guidebooks I've read online. Truthfully, if it wasn't for Caitlin, I probably would still not know the name Common Grounds.
Again, if you have suggestions of a coffee shop for a future entry, send it to me via firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter at @SimonSaysNH.