Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The best designed coffee house in the city?

His commute took him past the place every day. And he'd seen ads for it in all the local rags. He assumed it was a total art-school joint, since it was just a street scene away from MCAD.

One dismal day he felt desperate for a hot cup of coffee and a quiet corner. He locked the bike out front amongst the klunkers and the fixies and the vintage Schwinns, and furtively entered.

The place was all bar and bin and boilers. Or so it seemed. But then he realized the ingeniousness of the design: Why put tables and chairs and people in the middle of the room, when they want to be in corners and nooks and at the windows? Indeed, there was not a bad seat in the house. Sofas for the social idlers, standups for the harried and lonely, sit-downs for the readers and the chess players, gracious French doors opening out onto a quiet side street of brownstones. And on the one continuous interior wall, a delightfully complex ink-on-paper maze for the eye.

Spyhouse Coffee Shop, 2451 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
Photo (cc) by Bill Snyder