Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Beer Garden at Coffee on the Corner

When the Starbucks first came to Staunton, it almost didn't make it. I found out from a friend who worked there that it wasn't until Starbucks logo was put on the exit signs on 81 that the Starbucks become viable. Granted, the Starbucks is on the outskirts of Staunton and not in the downtown area, which is Staunton's main attraction. So, Starbucks struggle isn't quite a testament to the loyalty of Stauntonites to their downtown coffee houses, but I like to think it is.

Like most towns and cities, what coffee house you go to in Staunton says a lot about who you are. Families, thirty-somethings, and middle-age adults tend to go to Blue Mountain Coffee. Tweens, teens, twenty-somethings, hipsters, college students, and thirty-somethings, tend to go to Coffee on the Corner. I can't talk with authority about who goes to Mug Shots. I like to go to Blue Mountain when I want to get work done and have a nice bagel sandwich; I go to Coffee on the Corner when I want to run into people and be distracted.

Coffee on the Corner is named so because it is on the corner of Market Street and Beverley Street. Its location makes it a great docking point to people watch as well as to enjoy great coffee. They have the usual caffeinated concoctions, but also have Italian sodas, steamed milk or soy milk, tempting desserts, and tasty sandwiches. My favorite sandwich is their chicken salad that is slightly sweet from a touch of honey but is savory on only with a little mayo. They also make a great grilled cheese and a mean pastrami sandwich.

Last week, Coffee on the Corner branched out to being more than just a great coffee house and now have become a great coffee house with an awesome Beer Garden. With an a select couple of wines and an extended beer list offering all sorts of beers and microwbrews, you can sit outside, enjoy the landscaping, and take in the evening air. While most of Staunton's outdoor seating areas on streets or off parking lots, Coffee on the Corner is a below street level cove that allows a slight feeling of seclusion so that you can enjoy friendly conversation and a cold beer. They also have subtle background music that gives ambiance, but still allows you to hear the person you are talking to.

At the opening last Monday, you could tell by the happy, content looks on people's faces that this is what they had been waiting for in Staunton. Sitting felt so natural and it made it seem like it should have been there all along. I've already been back sense and I'm looking forward to more warm summer evenings of meeting up with friends, enjoying a cold beer, and checking out the night sky.

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