I would like to preface this post by saying that I am not a Starbucks hater, quite to the contrary, I quite enjoy their coffee from time to time. In fact, I have a friend who roasts his own beans and would likely rather drink water out of the toilet than sip a freshly brewed cup of Starbucks. It may not be a popular position within foodie circles, but really I don’t hate Starbucks as many do. However, as I will illustrate below it seems that Starbucks has lost its way particularly when it comes to comfort level and atmosphere. Anyways, I have long been a fan of spending long hours downing endless cups of coffee and either reading or tapping away on my computer. Good coffee is obviously a must, but for me that is only half of what makes a great coffee place. A warm inviting atmosphere with good seating and lighting is just as important as the cup of java that they are serving or the food that they are coupling it with. I may be wrong about this, but it seems like Starbucks used to have much more comfortable stores that often had some of the kind of atmosphere, but now they often aren’t much more than a counter and a drive through.
My history with coffee shops is deeper than just a place to sit down and have a cup of coffee while I am studying or talking with friends. When I was in grad school in Bowling Green, Ohio I finally got the guts to ask a girl out I knew (granted it was over email) and we ended up going out to the local coffee shop/used book store Grounds For Thought (174 South Main Street, Bowling Green, OH) for our first date. Well, that girl was Julia and I can’t help but think that this cozy and inviting coffee shop or possibly the beans they roast themselves made our first date all that much more perfect.
I consider the New World Coffee House to be of the same caliber as the place where I first took my wife out on a date that faithful day in October 2005. Tucked in a corner between a Blockbuster and an El Rodeo on an unassuming strip of Pleasant Valley just off of Glenwood Ave, it seems a bit out of place. I first stumbled upon New World when we used to live within walking distance and it immediately struck me as a great place to sit down and have cup of coffee. I particularly like the fact that the floors are hardwood along with the soft lighting and the art that covered several of the walls. But what really made me happy about New World’s interior was that the seating is very comfortable as it includes several nicely cushioned couches, booths, as well as tables, many of which include outlets to plug in your laptop. I didn’t know it, but the art that covers the walls is apparently from expressionist painter Michael Nighswonger who is a local artist that I think is really quite talented. When I am sitting and working there I often find my eyes wandering to the great paintings on the wall.
As far as the food goes, I will admit that the most elaborate item I have had off of their menu is a cappuccino, I usually just buy a normal large cup of coffee. I have never been a big food plus coffee person, and well of late I have been trying to save the cash. As a result, I can’t say a whole lot about what I think of their food menu, but I will say that whenever I am there, the food smells amazing. Most important, they use beans from local Larry’s Beans whose product provides a bold cup of coffee that is rich to a point but provides a touch of sweetness that keeps it from being too harsh.
Before I gush anymore let me say that this a great place to get a cup coffee and a very comfortable environment if you are someone who likes a cozy and inviting place to work or talk with friends.