Tuesday, March 3, 2015

@ Slow Train Cafe in Downtown Oberlin

This week, Hold The Coffee highlights my long-awaited visit to one of Northeast Ohio's coolest college towns and one of its coffee shops.

Matt and Andrew are pictured here waiting for me to
walk inside with them.
I've always had a strong attraction to college towns--partly because their coffee shops have expansive weekend hours, terrific public art, and thoughtful community spaces. Evidently the coffee shops are so nice that patrons typically need to fight for a table or seat--which is just what happened when my boyfriend / blog editor Matt, a team of friends and I visited Oberlin--home to Oberlin College--Sunday, Feb. 15, to check out Slow Train Cafe.

I've often told myself that the best time to visit college towns is during the summer, and for two reasons: the college campus and its thousands of dollars worth of landscaping are at its prime, and the student population impeding upon that beauty is at its lowest.

Friends and colleagues, Amy Popik and Andrew Cass, have discussed making the hour-long trip to Oberlin, but our schedules have presented many restrictions. Either one of us is working a weekend shift, I am in Mount Vernon for the weekend hanging out with Matt or Amy is working her second job.  With all of that in mind, we agreed Sunday, Feb. 15, would have to work. Amy's lifelong friend, Oberlin graduate and Akron's new urbanist poster child, Hannah Scott, joined us in our adventure. (She's also the daughter of our photo editor, Duncan Scott. The woman clearly wears many, many hats.)

Pictured here is Amy, Hannah and Matt ordering their coffees
to go. Well actually, Hannah ordered a Chai Latte to go, not 
a coffee.
Like so many college towns, Downtown Oberlin doesn't just have one independent coffee shop, it has two: The Local Coffee & Tea and The Slow Train Cafe. (It actually has three when we consider Treehuggers Cafe in Oberlin.)  It took me a few days to decide which coffee shop to feature in my first visit to Oberlin. I chose Slow Train mostly because it doesn't close until 11 p.m. on Sundays and The Local closes at 5 p.m. (Do not fear. I will gladly make another trip to Oberlin sometime to feature The Local.)

Location: I expected a busy crowd, but I wasn't expecting standing-room-only busy when we all arrived at Slow Train a little past 1 p.m., that Sunday. I mean, even if it was just Matt and I, there still wouldn't have been anywhere to sit.

A good three-fourths of the patrons I saw were students on laptops presumably working on school projects. As frustrating as the situation was, it did remind me of the times when I was a Kent State University student looking for somewhere to camp out to work hours on a weekend. I still camp out, but I have since realized it's not worth keeping your fort up at a table if it means you're hindering someone else's coffee shop experience.
You couldn't throw a rock without hitting a humanities' major. 
With that said, I wouldn't recommend throwing any rocks.

Not having much of a choice, my friends, Matt and I ordered coffees to go--an unheard of thing for me to do on a weekend.  We spent a few hours touring around downtown Oberlin, checking if The Local was equally packed--it was, and eating lunch at Agave Burrito Bar. We were also tallying how many college friends Hannah can run into on one day. It was too many to count.

My friends, Matt and I visited Slow Train again near the end of our adventure, and, to no surprise, it was still busy. However this time, there was one small table open with a handful of chairs in the middle of the room. We quickly hooked our jackets around the chairs and ordered Amy and Hannah to stand guard while Andrew, Matt and I ordered coffee and cookies at the counter. That's a bit of an exaggeration, but nevertheless, I've never felt so much relief and gratification as I did that day winning a table at a coffee shop.

Obviously, a big part of the shop's traffic is its close proximity to the academic halls and other such campus things.

Oberlin College's campus is weaved into the city's downtown more than almost any college town I've visited. Located at 55 W College St., Slow Train is a stone-throw away from its nearest campus building.

These cookies are going to be the eventual cause of my 
Type II Diabetes. I just know it.
What's most important about Slow Train's thriving location is that it's part of a remarkable story of three college graduates who were focused on building environmentally and socially sustainable mixed-use housing on a former Buick dealership lot. (Steven Litt's 2010 Cleveland.com story on the project is a terrific read.) It would be amazing if more of these projects were replicated in other cities like Painesville, Ashland, and Youngstown.

Food and Beverage: Like a few other coffee shops I've visited, Slow Train blurs the line a bit between coffee shop and bar--something Matt and I completely welcome. The shop serves wine, beer and cocktails, but sadly their alcohol is off limits on Sunday because of liquor license restrictions. (Lack of expansive liquor licenses is a common problem in Ohio college towns, however, Andrew reminds me often it is an even worse situation in his home state of Pennsylvania and his alma mater's town, State College, Pa.)

Slow Train's milk, coffee and pastries are provided by a handful of Cleveland-area vendors. That's good because Matt, Andrew and I need to find out where we can pick up more of the delicious cookies we ate--especially the salted chocolate chip ones. Andrew was compelled in ordering one during each of our two visits.

This is me shooting more photos from the fort we secured
in our second visit to Slow Train.
I am disqualifying everything I ordered in the first visit because I couldn't take nice photos of it. On our second visit, however, Matt and I ordered a cranberry-oatmeal cookie, a salted chocolate-chip cookie and two eight-ounce cups of coffee for $6 and change. I got a Columbian roast and he got a Brazilian roast. Don't ask me what the difference was.

Space and Atmosphere: Another big reason why I chose Slow Train to feature before visiting Oberlin is because the coffee shop had a band scheduled to play on their small stage that Sunday evening. I love live music at coffee shops and Slow Train's event looked like it would be a pretty fun in the off chance that everyone and I stayed in Oberlin past 7 p.m. (We obviously didn't. Like the post-college graduates we are, we called it a night by 5 p.m.)

Slow Train still had some neat music playing on its pretty expansive speaker system. The music ranged from The Eagles to Kanye West, and from Timbaland to Justin Timberlake.

I loved the shop's mixture of earthy colored walls, concrete flooring, wooden furniture and mounted photos and art. And just like any progressive college town, the shop's two single-occupancy restrooms are gender neutral.

The experience reminded me so much of my glorious time as a college student, and as of writing this blog post March 3, I noticed the coffee shop's event page has a trivia game and wine night scheduled for later in the day. They do it every Tuesday night.

... I think graduate school might be calling me. What's another $40,000 of college debt going to do to me anyway?

Again, if you have suggestions of a coffee shop for a future entry, send it to me via email--shusted@news-herald.com--or on Twitter at @SimonSaysNH.

42 comments:

  1. I follow your blog it was very effective, please connect with us:-
    You can find Hudson harbor luxury homes which will provide you with a lot of space and a great view of the sea. There are luxury homes in Westchester NY. However, even if you are thinking of buying houses, such as Mahopac real estate, for dwelling purposes, it is good to look at the options for selling it. There are homes for sale in hartsdale ny that can be found on many real estate websites too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I GOT A FAST APPROVED LAON @ 2% INTEREST RATE

      I am married with two kids and i was stuck in a financial situation and i needed to refinance, pay debt and pay for my husband medical bill. I tried seeking loans from various loan firms both private and corporate but never with success,and most banks declined my credit. But as God would have it, i was introduced to VICTORIA LAWSON LOAN FIRM by a friend and i applied immediately with {marianlawson@outlook.com} loan sum of $30,000USD and today am a business owner and my kids are doing well at the moment. So dear,if you must contact any firm with reference to securing a loan with low interest rate of 2% and good repayment plans, Contact Victoria Lawson Loan Firm with (marianlawson@outlook.com) I am so happy now and i decided to let people know more about her, she offers all kinds of loans. You can contact her company today

      *Full Name:_________

      *Address:_________

      *Tell:_________

      *loan amount:_________

      *Loan duration:_________

      *Country:_________

      *Purpose of loan:_________

      *Monthly Income:__________

      *Occupation__________

      *Next of kins :_________

      *Email :_________

      Delete
    2. Toko komputer kami cukup lengkap yang menjual jual ultrabook dan kami juga mencoba jual router wifi dengan harga yang relatif murah dan terjangkau.

      Delete
  2. I follow your side, it was very nice, please connect with us :-
    You can find Hudson harbor luxury homes which will provide you with a lot of space and a great view of the sea. There are luxury homes in Westchester NY. However, even if you are thinking of buying houses, such as Mahopac real estate, for dwelling purposes, it is good to look at the options for selling it. There are apartments in white plains ny that can be found on many real estate websites too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have gone through the blog and felt that it is wonderful as well as a well formed version of expreesion... i am sharing somethoing that might help you:

    The condos for sale in white plains ny basic importance of real estate business is that it helps in converting the simple work to a massive a homes for sale in peekskill ny huge hit. There are so many new large apartments and projects coming up all of different tag and features. Here homes for sale in carmel are also more things and good round of facts to be managed be Mahopac real estate that simple way of work.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you
    create this website yourself or did you hire someone to doit for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blogand would like to know where u got this from. thank you acemaxscair.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have gone through your blog. I agree with each and every word you spelled. I am sharing something which might help you :

    The homes for sale in mamaroneck ny basic importance of real estate business is that it helps in converting the simple work to a massive a homes for sale in peekskill ny huge hit. There are so many new large apartments and projects coming up all of different tag and features. Here homes for sale in white plains ny are also more things and good round of facts to be managed be Mahopac real estate that simple way of work.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The homes for sale in mamaroneck ny concealments panels are real vital as they can give you the plentiful needed growth that will harmless then allowable the vital of day homes for sale in larchmont ny. At hand are many things close by home as well as hereafter it is homes for sale in rye ny to become the utmost of domestic tactics confidential in the best of brewster real estate.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Make your real estate developement buisness happy contact us :-The homes for sale in white plains ny whole use of homes and proper housings boards are very necessary as they can give you the much needed growth that will secure and free the need of day to homes for sale in katonah ny day life. There are many things apartments in white plains ny attached with home and hence it is important to get the best of home plans within the white plains apartments affordable scale of the money.

    ReplyDelete
  8. are you really want to emphasis your buisness please contact :- The homes for sale in white plains ny whole use of homes and proper housings boards are very necessary as they can give you the much needed growth that will secure and free the need of day to homes for sale in katonah ny day life. There are many things apartments in white plains ny attached with home and hence it is important to get the best of home plans within the white plains apartments affordable scale of the money.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Develope your real esatate with the proper grivences of buisness make to confirm with :- The condos for sale in white plains ny accumulation be situated that it is cleaned out up in period as healthy as in trick. In presence position homes for sale in peekskill ny predictable to altogether unique lots of effort. The thing that wants to be lively as glowing as constructed homes for sale in carmel effort is the construction. The thing can give a dependable price to mahopac homes for sale.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Are you want to develop your real estate knowledge,so this site is predictable,so people connect this site :-
    The condos for sale in white plains ny accumulation be situated that it is cleaned out up in period as healthy as in trick. In presence position homes for sale in peekskill ny predictable to altogether unique lots of effort. The thing that wants to be lively as glowing as constructed homes for sale in carmel effort is the construction. The thing can give a dependable price to mahopac homes for sale.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Home and interior design create us visit our website it's really helpful for you :-
    The homes for sale in katonah ny important and necessary suits are all aware and found to have those specific portions all in the sectors that are ensuring the good work. For most it will help in securing homes for sale in harrison ny what has happened and is taking place. Here are general homes for sale in hastings on hudson and all new ideal logics helping with any point of time. Here is the main piece which will help in completing the Hudson harbor tarrytown total work.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Home and interior design create us visit our website it's really helpful for you :-
    The homes for sale in somers ny getups are all attentive as well as establish to have persons exact helpings all in the subdivisions that are safeguarding the decent work. Aimed at most it assistance in white plains homes for sale transpired and is enchanting dwelling. At this time are brewster real estate new supreme logics aiding with a little point of stretch. Now is the focal member which will service in effecting the homes for sale in carmel complete work.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Be develope your real estate with different style please contact :- The homes for sale in ardsley ny actual plantation bazaar is that it is going up in time and in device. There stand homes for sale in mahopac ny worth is being assumed to all novel loads of effort. The thing that has to be energetic as well as constructed white plains homes for sale that effort is the building. The thing can give a reputable value to yonkers homes for sale.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Easy to find a good house please contact us:-
    The homes for sale in katonah ny important and necessary suits are all aware and found to have those specific portions all in the sectors that are ensuring the good work. For most it will help in securing homes for sale in harrison ny what has happened and is taking place. Here are general homes for sale in hastings on hudson and all new ideal logics helping with any point of time. Here is the main piece which will help in completing the Hudson harbor tarrytown total work.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Best Buy in the world at cheap rate:-
    There homes for sale in hastings on hudson are apartments and places where many new can come up to the places where the homes for sale in harrison ny work can be targeted and once homes for sale in katonah ny that is covered up the whole reason will give a scale of given scales. The personal details and things are all in the result of home owners who are coming up Hudson harbor tarrytown in the market.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Develop your real esatat buisness a proper way please contact :-In attendance homes for sale in mamaroneck ny builders imminent up so seeing that to it has absolutely obtain off homes for sale in larchmont ny anywhere it was not present. The work of fiction union which will exist cooking the meaning will be situated because well as with the intention of immediately right homes for sale in rye ny be the innovative neatly that will offer new consequence a right technique to learn brewster real estate stage.

    ReplyDelete
  17. develope your real estate buisnes please contact :-In attendance homes for sale in mamaroneck ny builders imminent up so seeing that to it has absolutely obtain off homes for sale in larchmont ny anywhere it was not present. The work of fiction union which will exist cooking the meaning will be situated because well as with the intention of immediately right homes for sale in rye ny be the innovative neatly that will offer new consequence a right technique to learn brewster real estate stage.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. sajian mewangi
    http://agenjamsiguladiabetes.blogspot.co.id/2015/12/agen-online-jamsi-di-bandung.html

    ReplyDelete
  20. EDWARD JONES FINANCE IS THE BEST PLACE TO GET A LOAN {Jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com},
    God bless you sir, I will not stop telling the world about your kindness in my life, I am a single mum with kids to look after. My name is Emily Thomas, and I am from Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL . A couple of weeks ago My friend visited me and along our discussion she told me about EDWARD JONES FINANCE, that they can help me out of my financial situation, I never believed cause I have spend so much money on different loan lenders who did nothing other than running away with my money. I have been in a financial mess for the pass 7 months now,She advised I give it a try so I mailed him and explain all about my financial situation to him, he therefore took me through the loan process and gave me a loan of $390,000.00 at a very low interest rate of 2% and today I am a proud business owner and can now take good care of my kids, If you must contact any firm to get any amount of loan you need with a low interest rate of 2% and better repayment schedule, please contact EDWARD JONES FINANCE email:- {Jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com} OR Text +1(307) 241-3712 or go to there page on http://jonesloanfinance.bravesites.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anda bisa berkunjung ke San Diego Hills untuk mendapatkan berbagai

    informasi seperti harga IRG Portugal dan beberapa

    informasi penting lainn seperti harga SEO Preneur ID. jangan lupa

    bagikan ke yang lain.

    ReplyDelete