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November 22, 1996 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-22

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14 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 22, 1996

I

"It's easler to just walk up to I an a cafe thanlnabar.In a bart'saumed
you're hitting on the mn - It's Im .tantious and mo reax In a cafe."
-Jim Johanson
Cava Java general manager

3---Al

G

60

r(c)
&ii

Local coffee shops offer an array of bagels, music, auras and ... coffee,

Menus crowded with densely scrawled items and
prices. Window casings ensconcin muffins ba els,
croissants and tortes. The it 77 c81 o'upan
glasses. V$

y. iianO m H iy Sta eorter
inusfatins y Tracoy Harfis

With numerous coffeehouses located along
South University and State streets, the shops
have become permanent fixtures on campus.
But the popularity of campus cafes is actual-
ly a recent phenomenon. Espresso Royale on
South State Street, established in 1987, was the
first to be built. Amer's Mediterranean Deli,
Gratzi, Cava Java and Rendez-Vous Cafe were
established in the early '90s, following the suc-
cess of Espresso Royale. And even when it
seemed the market was sated with cafes, still
more cafes and bagel shops appeared this year.
Kelly Christiansen of the marketing depart-
ment at Caribou Cafe, which opened in July,
said the combination of an affluent city with the
college campus made Ann Arbor an excellent
place to start the business.
"We look for areas with a little higher
income, and with tho college, it seemed like a
good fit," she said.
Jim Johanson, general manager at Cava Java,
said he can charge more for a cup of coffee in
Ann Arbor than in other areas because the com-
munity is wealthier.
"I would assume that we'd do better here than
in Flint," he said. "Professional people will pay
$2 for a cup of coffee -- a blue collar worker
won't."
But the popularity of cafes doesn't seem to
be merely about economics or convenience, but
rather the casual, social atmosphere inside
them.
Socializing
Johanson said he doesn't know exactly why
the cafes are so popular, but said it's not just the
coffee that draws people in.
"Seventy-five percent of the customers come
in every day - it's the personal relationship
that a lot of them appreciate."
When Johanson first came to Ann Arbor, he
had just quit drinking alcohol and decided to
hang out in cafes instead of bars.
"It's easier to just walk up to someone in a
cafe than in a bar," he said. "In a bar it's
assumed that you're hitting on the person - it's
less pretentious and more relaxed in a cafe."
But some students find that meeting people
in cafes can be a distraction to studying.
"I only study in cafes when I don't have to
study seriously because of the noise and you're
probably going to run into people," said Susan
Podolsky, an RC senior.
Podolsky, who used to work at a cafe, said
the prices are too high.
"It's very overpriced for what they're selling.
A cookie for $2? I know that's pretty outra-
geous."
Podolski said she might consider going to a
cafe instead of a bar on a Friday or Saturday
night.
"I would go to a cafe with someone under 21,
or maybe over 21 to have a serious conversa-
tion," she said.
Karen Whitman, an LSA senior, also said she
doesn't do particularly serious homework in
coffeeshops.
"1 usually just read good books in the cafe-
nothing I need to have a lot of concentration
for."

KRISTEN SCHAEFER/Daily
School of Social Work first-year graduate student Cathy Galgon studies at Caribou Coffee on South State Street yesterday afternoon. As coffee shops opened up in Ann Arbor, so did a new culture.

Caribou Cafe has a cabin-like atmosphere
with wilderness photographs adorning the walls
and dark-stained wood tables faintly reflecting
the dim light from the suspended lanterns.
"We have comfortable couches and we try to;
keep the temperature warm - it works well
with the college students," Christiansen said.<
Johanson said Cava Java is different from
most cafes because it offers live music and
entertainment, and also because of the empha-
sis placed on employee training.
"We pride ourselves in training our employ-
ees," he said. "This is the busiest intersection in
Ann Arbor - 3,000 people pass this intersec-
tion each hour. We try to serve each customer
in less than 31/2 minutes."!

Bagels, which opened in February. "We got the
award (best new business in Ann Arbor from
The Michigan Daily) about a month after we
opened, which was great."
Vandepitte said most of Einstein Bros.' busi-
ness is from students during the week and older
people on weekends stopping in before or after
chutch.
But Einstein Bros. bagels faces stiff compe--
titioni from Bruegger's Bagels. just around the
block.
"We always have hot bagels and our cream
cheese is homemade," said VickiFertloth, a
manager at Bruegger's. "People like to come
here because our lines move faster and they like
tur' ream cheese better."

A drug in every cup?

Caffeine: The odorless
stimulant that lurks in
each coffee serving

fee and limits her consumption.
"I drink no more than three cups a
day because that's a healthy level -
so they say."
Alvarez said she read a recent
Harvard study that indicated that
lower coffee consumption was bene-
ficial not only to the quality of life,
but to the existence of life.
"Women who drink over three
cups a day have a higher suicid
rate," she said, "so I guess I'm also
keeping my suicide rate down.'
Alvarez said she is used to drink-
ing coffee and has developed-a tol-
erance that dampens its effects.
"I think I'm immune to it: I don't
really feel side effects unless I have
four espressos or something like

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