Sunday, May 22, 2011

Caffeinated Weekends - Stumptown

Stumptown at the Ace Hotel is an experience.  Not just because the beverages and pastries are excellent.  It's because of the Ace Hotel.  But, first about Stumptown Coffee Roasters.  They serve the typical espresso drinks, very well prepared and, interesting to me, served in actual ceramic coffee cups unless you specifically ask for to-go paper cups.  How civilized!  They expect we will enjoy our drink right there. But where?  The space is long, narrow and has no seating.  There is a full length of bar-height counter at which to stand along the floor-to-ceiling window which faces onto 29th Street just east of Broadway, sunny and bright when the weather is likewise (ditto, gray and rainy most of this spring).

So, if you want to sit and linger with that not-to-go coffee cup, what to do?  Just walk through the door that leads into the Ace Hotel.  This is a happening place, the likes of which I'd never seen before.  Yes, I feel slightly older than the average age here (maybe a lot older), but there's enough variety here to not make anyone feel out of place and I never have.

The large roomy lobby is so comfortable.  You can sit there and read or work on computer, or order food from their restaurant, The Breslin, or bring in your coffee and pastry from Stumptown, or order a "real" drink from the bar at the back of the lobby, or whatever.  It's as dark as the photo, conducive to computer use, I suppose?  Or to falling asleep, as I noticed a young woman, with her book open on her lap, had done.  And no one noticed?  Or bothered to notice.  There are large long communal tables for the computer users, with power sources, of course.  And loads of sofas, big upholstered chairs and coffee tables.  Great place.  Great coffee.  Fascinating concept which absolutely works.  I think it's one of the most comfortable spots in town.

If only I had a reason to be on 29th Street more often.  After lunch in Koreatown, maybe?

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