What's a Coffee Commentary?
Subject: Beauty Shop Cafe
Location visited: Philadelphia, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]
Don't you love it when you stumble across something you wanted to do, but had forgotten all about it until the second you tripped over it?
Recently my bride and I were trying to piddle away a bit of weekend free time before meeting up at the Franklin Institute with my family. The day was sunny and as we headed up 20th St, my wife caught sight of a cafe. Naturally, we pulled over and went down to sniff it out. Turns out it was a shop that I had caught wind of months ago, the Beauty Shop Cafe.
On the outside, the shop is red brick with clear windows peeking inside. Walking in, the place is fairly small with a few tables, a bar along one of the windows, and some vintage (not in use) salon effects. The entire space was alive with people reading, working, and ticking away on their laptops.
The coffee was the reason I had heard of Beauty Shop, as they were "announced" to be the first Center City place that served Chestnut Hill Coffee. Having only had the coffee at the source, I was curious how it would fare off the premises. Beauty Shop served up their own house blend, which embodied a bit of a dark bite yet sampled mostly smooth. The espresso really impressed me, as the barista not only had the decency to re-pull my shots (the first one twas a dud) but the espresso tasted like sunshine (bright and sweet) complete with a decent hang. The tea came from House of Tea, a local Philly company that looks promising.
Aside from the somewhat off-the-beaten-path location, Beauty Shop offers a fairly refreshing change in quality to many other city shops. The major things are to make sure to give yourself time for parking (unless you want to be on Parking Wars) and time in case the limited seating is full.