nestled in a the corner where erie and victoria avenues meet in east hyde park, the coffee emporium is easy to miss: despite directions from two different people — “it’s around the corner from the police station…you *really* can’t miss it” — i have driven past it, actually looking for it and still not seeing it, too many times to admit. but now that i’ve found it, it’s home away from home.
hands down, this is our favorite shop for freshly-roasted beans. the selections are wide for both buzzers and dozers (i prefer the netherworld somewhere between), but the shop caters as well to tea-drinkers, chocolate-lovers, scone-munchers and sunday-brunchers of all stripes. the sunday menu features gorgeous waffles (i once watched a woman grudgingly share hers with her dog — named mr. rhett butler — who clearly did give a damn and wouldn’t take his eyes off her plate, despite the decidedly un-butler-esque quality of begging), in addition to soups from myra’s, breakfast burritos, and more. the scones and muffins can be had daily, and on a recent trip we found ourselves enjoying a pumpkin-cinnamon scone that hit the perfect fall-friendly note.
extra seating can be had upstairs on the second floor of this converted home, out back in the privacy of the shady trellised garden, at the side of the shop along victoria avenue, or even in front along erie avenue, where people-watching is at its best and seats are at a premium. weather-permitting, the best bet for my money is along the side of the shop, where there are bowls of water for visiting pups and small stumps for small fries to sit on.
this is also one of the places where i am constantly reminded just how friendly cincinnati is: almost everybody makes eye contact and says hello, the dogs are generally leashed and well-mannered, and grown ups are kid-friendly enough to engage our toddler in some version of conversation. typically her response is to stare back and keep munching on her scone.