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24 Hour Coffee Shop In Old Town? I'm All Jacked Up!

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Pat Flynn

It is 3:46 a.m. and I am still running in place from my first caramel macchiato. Perhaps it's a mental thing. I don't know. But I realized today that Old Town is home to one of the city's three 24 hour Starbucks locations.

I was pretty skeptical as to how this would go when I walked into the 200 W. North Ave, building. But when I arrived at 9 p.m. I knew I made the right decision to go check this place out. I drink coffee, but not after even 7 p.m. But this wasn't about coffee. This was an alternate universe.

The person that confirmed this for me was Heather, an Old Town resident, and Starbucks employee. I arrived and was shocked at how there was nowhere to sit in this massive cafe.  Literally every seat was full when I walked in.

"This is nothing," Heather said. 

Staring at the menu blankly, Heather assisted me. See, previous to this trip to Starbucks, I simply looked at it as a place to get very, very strong coffee that wasn't as good as Dunkin Donuts' coffee.  But now I see it as much more. I see it as more of a library/way of life.

Heather told me that there were regulars, and that she recognizes most of the faces in there after 10 p.m., and that they are often there until the wee hours of the morning.

Heather helped me decide on what to order because I am usually uber-lame with my order (Venti coffee - iced when I want to change it up.) She suggested the caramel macchiato, and after our three minute conversation I had complete faith in Heather's taste in caffeinated beverages.

I dug deep in my pocket and paid for the overpriced drink.  Then came the hard part. Finding some real estate.  I had a paper to do in two hours. I enjoy waiting until the last minute to do things. I tell myself I work better under pressure. That is not true, and I know it though. I just work faster.

I had to get a table by the wall, or near an electrical outlet. Impossible, I thought. Then suddenly, as if she was listening to my thoughts, a young woman popped up and put her laptop in her oversized handbag. I didn't even try to play it cool when it came to getting her seat. I had my hand on the back of her seat as she was getting up, and she just smiled and laughed and said "I know."

I've never won the lottery, but I'm pretty sure this is what it feels like.

So I sit down and start my paper and I am in the zone.  The words are just coming to me.  I dont know what it is (I think it was the caramel macchiato). But I realize I'm a little ahead and I start taking notes on the things around me. Here is what I came up with.

-Couple in front of me has been asked when they are leaving twice by two people.  They answered with a very pissed "I don't know," then went back to talking quietly and rubbing each others' hands and forearms. 

-Guy in front of me has some really bad tats. Very unoriginal. The kind of thing you are going to regret in less than five years I think. Imagine looking back at a high school picture and wishing you hadn't worn that or cut your hair that way. That is how he is going to feel about two emo star tattoos on the back of his triceps. And he was not a big guy (check pic out in the jacked up photo gallery,

-It is 11 p.m. and there are eight people in line and I see people eying my real estate. I feel like a disliked wealthy grand parent whose distant family member are just waiting for me to go so they can cash in.

-I get up to go to the bathroom at 11:45 and there is a line. You have to be kidding me. I hear two regulars exchange pleasantries as one of them picks up his beverage from the counter and says thank you to the employee who made his drink...by name. How this guy is with Starbucks, I am with bars. Don't judge.

-As I head back to my table from getting some water at the counter, I look around and realize that there is a large variety of people here.  They are by no means all students. In fact, for the most part they were mostly older. They are just simply night owls. But who am I to talk? I'm sitting here at 4 a.m. wired off the same shit they drank.

I cannot describe everything I saw due to the fact that I would be typing here for days.  But the bottom line is that a 24 hour Starbucks is an interesting place loaded with interesting people that keep the same hours as Batman, but don't do nearly as much crime fighting as he does.

People travel from far and wide to go to this Starbucks to kill their hours that should be part of their REM sleep schedule. I suggest you check it out at night, because that's when the freaks come out. It was/is interesting, and I had no idea a 24 hour Starbucks was such a draw.

Chalk up one in the win column for Old Town again.

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1 Comment

Fernando Diaz said:

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I stopped into this Starbucks once and noticed it looked a lot like Central Perk, if everyone had laptops and head phones. It's ironic most of the folks are regulars but when I was there is seemed as though few were actually talking to each other. Good people watching spot.

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