Kaladi often resembles a rowdy British pub, during the World Cup playoffs. The acoustics are weird and, when it's crowded, you end up with one of those situations where everyone in the place is virtually shouting, trying to be heard over the din. And, half the time, you can more easily make out what someone two tables away is saying than what the person across from you is telling you.
I most often sit outside at the sidewalk tables in warm weather to avoid the noise inside. But, sitting ten feet from a traffic lane on one of the busiest 4-lane thoroughfares in the city leaves a bit to be desired ambience-wise. The noise and exhaust from the passing traffic on Evans Avenue can be a bit unpleasant, at times. Still, I go to Kaladi Brothers on a regular basis because I am like Norm, on Cheers. Everyone knows my name, and they have a big cup of coffee poured for me before I can even order.
This past Sunday though, Brad and I met up on the bicycles and headed down to a shop with which neither of us was familiar, Wash Perk Coffee. Located in the heart of the Washington Park neighborhood. Even though it suffers from the common "punny name syndrome" (Perk Hill is in the Park Hill neighborhood, Pikes Perk sits virtually at the foot of , down in Colorado Springs), I couldn't hold that against the place.
As we approached the shop, I realized that I often ride right by it on the way home from Cycle Analyst. I had noticed the tables and umbrellas, but I am typically on a mission when I go to Richard's shop, picking up some esoteric bit of bike equipment that no one else in town will stock. So I've never had occasion to stop in.
The location at 853 E. Ohio Ave is in a tree-shaded neighborhood of small bungalows and Craftsman houses. The volume of the auto traffic is dwarfed by the foot traffic and bicycles (at least, it was at 10:00 on a ). The bikes got parked against the patio rail, and the decision was made to sit outside and enjoy the pleasant surroundings.
We went inside to order our drinks, and I was impressed with how quiet and calm the small seating area was. This would definitely be a conducive atmosphere for settling in with a good book on a rainy (or snowy) morning. After chit-chatting with the baristas, we ordered up our drinks (black coffee for me, latté for Brad) and repaired to our patio table.
The coffee was excellent (they use coffee from Kaladi Brothers Roasting), the staff was friendly, and the surroundings were quite pleasant and relaxing. Even though its roughly 2 miles past Kaladi Brothers from my house, I suspect I'll be wiling away the occasional morning coffee hour at Wash Perk, in the future. The extra distance from the house will actually allow me to get a bit of a ride in, too.