|Kelly is making her debut in my blog. awwwww...|
Canton has a high concentration of coffee shops for its size (in fact, it has more than Akron, a significantly bigger city), but saying Muggswigz is only the most highlighted shop in the city might be understating things. Muggswiz is a repeating finalist in Coffee Fest's America's Best Coffee House competition. And in 2014, USA Today listed the shop at 137 Walnut Ave. NE, as one of the nation's top 10 coffee shops. I remembered my eyes popping out as I read it being compared to coffee shops in Portland, Chicago and Seattle. I had been to Muggswigz once before in 2011 to watch my friend Katy perform a guitar and singing gig on-stage, and I remember being pretty impressed with the place, but I didn't think anything more of it than a neighborhood coffee shop.
Location: Like all rust belt cities, downtown Canton has suffered plenty of urban renewal and abandonment over recent decades, but it's turning that ill-fortune into the most exciting arts district I have ever seen. (I think that's saying a lot considering I am a big fan of Cleveland's Gordon Square and Waterloo arts districts.)
Muggswigz isn't per-se inside the Canton Arts District, but it's literately only a few minutes of a walk to it and all of its attractions. The arts district, which is centered around the Palace Theatre, includes some incredible pieces of public art like a life-size rhino made of rubber tires, a three-story building infested by a man-made octopus and a series of wood-panel murals giving the side of a parking garage more life. The district also includes six art galleries with regular hours and 21 studios.
|This piece of public art is just unreal.|
Art isn't the only thing making Downtown Canton attractive. It's also ahead of most cities its size on embracing bicycle culture, according to me.
Almost like its one-way streets, Downtown Canton is inundated with marked bike lanes. The street Muggswigz sits along, Walnut Avenue, has two bike lanes on each direction despite that car traffic is restricted to one way. The street it believed to be the first of its kind in the state.
Sadly, I forgot what Kelly ordered that Saturday. This is
what happens when I am behind on posts for a month.
Food and Beverage: Muggwigz sticks to the pastry, tea and coffee menu that works best in a dense downtown-area like its own.
I got a little adventurous that Saturday morning and ordered a large spiced latte and a chocolate muffin with cream cheese filling. I hate destroying my diet, but I did drive a little more than an hour to a coffee shop, so I thought it was appropriate to indulge. Besides, the latte was DELISH.
After my downtown expedition with Kelly, I drove around Canton for a while, visiting the President McKinley Memorial, and then decided to return to Muggswigz to get some work done and drink some actual coffee. I got a large cup light roast like always, and it definitely had a distinctive taste. Was it better? I couldn't say because I just quite frankly don't care about the taste of coffee. It's all good as long as it is diluted with sweetener and milk.
What's not pictured here to the left of the frame is a big
polished conference table with big leather desk chairs.
I guess Canton's hipsters need to hold their business meetings
There's truthfully nothing wrong with Muggswigz space, but I expected by now with all of the success they've earned, the owners would've replaced their carpet flooring with hard tile or wood panel and updated their light fixtures to cast an ambiance that goes beyond a 1970s feel.
But like any good hipster would say: if its not broken, don't fix it.
Okay, that's not a hipster saying, but I think the idea is still conveyed. There are plenty of hipsters who order coffee and work at Muggswigz, and it's pretty impressive considering that all of the college campuses are on the outskirts of the city or in North Canton. (and another reason why the Canton Arts District's success is so impressive as well.)
Muggswigz does its roasting in the same building of its
Walnut Avenue store. I was meaning to buy a bag of grinds,
but sadly forgot.
I rest my case.
Again, if you have suggestions of a coffee shop for a future entry, send it to me via email@example.com on Twitter at @SimonGH_Says.