Saturday, February 02, 2008


Bogged down with a 15 lb. bag of plaster from Pearl, a shopping bag from Benjamin Lovell, and the uncomfortable need to pee, I skimmed the South St. shops for hope of a finer and friendlier establishment than a local pizza joint to take a load off. No such luck. To make matters worse, South St. on a Saturday afternoon, I should have remembered is bad news: insanely crowded with hipsters. I'll walk back to my car, I thought. Maybe I'll see something on south 4th St.

Past fabric shop after fabric shop (the need to pee kept me from wandering in and browsing paisley and brocade prints), I finally spotted that new little coffee shop I saw earlier. It looks inviting and I can always snag a coffee for the ride home.

I walked inside, out of the cold, and felt immediately relaxed. Only a few folks sat sipping their beverages at tables. The Smiths were playing in the background - hello? That's surely a sign of a good place - the exposed brick touted local art and best of all? Even the oil polished hardwood floors were spotless. I struggled between ordering a smoothie or a frappe and then decided on the latter since it had been a good many years since I had a frappe. I excused myself to the ladies room which like the rest of the place was spacious and clean. Wow. I went back to the counter, paid for my drink, while chuckling to myself about the low key pirate theme all around (again, a sign?), struck up conversation with a local resident about the fabulous sale at Ben Lovell and sat my tired ass down in a plush 19th century inspired chair.

What's the name of this oasis? It's called Red Hook Coffee & Tea. It's at the corner of 4th and Catherine Streets in Queen Village. Here's a run down of what makes this place kick even more ass:

A fun name and cool use of appropriate props to convey a pirate theme.
Independently owned.
Sell fair-trade organic coffee and espresso.
Use local ingredients and support local bakers and local economy.
Showcase local art talent and have 4th on 4th Street - monthly art openings the fourth Friday of the month.
Terrific affordable selection of food and drinks.
Friendly staff - and customers.
It's off South Street and seems to cater more toward the residents with an occasional weary South St. straggler like myself stumbling in once in a while.
Low key, not super crowded (at least not 30 min. before they closed), one is also likely to find parking in a 2-3 block vicinity - good for a Delco resident like me.
As I mentioned - clean, including a spacious clean bathroom.
Are dog friendly (I saw two cute doggies there during my 15 min. stay).
And I love this - you can rent the space after 6 p.m. for a small fee. I'm telling you, this space is super cute and cool. I would so have a party there.

Can you tell I'm a marketing gal?! Of course I'd have a ball doing marketing work for this establishment.
Red Hook Coffee - my newest discovery and new favorite coffee joint.

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