While I love working from home, sometimes I just need to get out of the house. East Branch Library (the large tables in the back) are my typical go-to spot. When I get in a groove, I can be there for hours on end, but what to do when I get hungry? The vending machines are hardly an option. There is always Starbucks for getting out of the house to work. Lots of people watching and foot traffic there can make for a fun outing, but with their small tables and hard, uncomfortable chairs, it’s clear they’re not looking for people to camp out for hours. Plus, trying to quell my hunger at Starbucks would probably put me $10 in the hole and I don’t imagine I’d be much the better for it.
I find Panera warm, comfy and rather kind about people who hang out for extended periods of time in their ample space. I believe they wisely limit wifi access to 30 minutes during their busy, please-we-need-to-sell-food-and-turn-tables time slots. Personally, Panera’s food is too institutional and low-grade to be a fave hangout for me.
Bean Hollow in historic Ellicott City is great for catching up with friends … or with a good book. Their space is so small and intimate and they wisely, imo, don’t offer wifi, discouraging people from camping out to work for hours. It’s not their vibe. And as a small local business, they really need to turn tables.
In #AwesomeColumbia, we have no Tryst, Busboys & Poets or 24-hour The Coupe (yet!), as they do in DC. Yet, it’s with great joy that I share my new fave hangout/coffee/cowork/chill space in EC: Bean & Burgundy. Started by two young sisters, B&B has free wifi (of course) and great tea and coffee; tasty, healthy food choices and a big, open, expansive space with lots of windows make it a lovely place to hang, read, work, knit, eat and/or catch up with friends.
Feel free to camp there for awhile, book, laptop or group of friends, in tow. There’s plenty of space to spread out and yet still be out and about.