Top 5… Coffee Shops

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Coffee, an American love affair—or more specifically, a college love affair. Whether it is finals week, an early morning, or just a casual mid-day fix, sometimes all you need is a caffeine boost to keep you going.  In light of CM’s month of everything art, we did a search for some unique, art-filled shops that might provide a different atmosphere.

Common Ground, a coffee shop in Baltimore, Maryland, is in an old row home contributing to a very small place.  The furniture here is the focal point and what makes Common Ground different than large chains—their eclectic combination of chairs and tables has people coming back for more.  “It's certainly warmer and more human than your average sterile Starbucks.  It's cozy, that's the best word to describe it,” John Danek, Penn State alumni, said.

Shades of Brown, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, allows an artist to display his or her work every month and also to sell it for profit.  There are also two private rooms that can be signed up for and used for whatever customers may need.  Shades of Brown serves their coffee in handmade coffee mugs made by local, Linda Coward, of Brookside Pottery.

Art Six found its home in an actual house in Denton, Texas.  Six artists decided they would open a coffee shop after having a coffee and discussing their work situations.  Art Six has outside seating available and features performances on the back porch area.  The baristas at Art Six throw a unique twist when serving up customers’ favorite cup of Jo, they draw patterns and animals into the frothy tops.

Z’otz Cafe, located in the Garden district of New Orleans, allows artists to display and sell their original works.  Like Common Ground, Z’otz utilizes different furniture pieces to add a sense of individuality to its decor.  Jacob Quimby, junior at Loyola University New Orleans, said, “New Orleans is a small city, so you know everyone. Going to Z’otz is an even smaller community, everyone knows your name and you know everyone who goes there. There's always music playing, and the walls are always covered in art.”

Zephyr Cafe in Pasadena, California offers a wide array of meal, drink and hookah choices.  Zephyr features a new artist each month and displays their work all throughout the establishment.  There are multiple rooms providing customers with areas of refuge from the hustle and bustle of every day life.

Sophomore > Visual Communications and Psychology > Penn State University

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