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September 03, 1997 - Image 58

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-03

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m2E - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 3, 1997


Coffee shops
add pep to
n s
Socia scene
By Erin Mrh
Daily Staff Reporter
.University students and Ann Arborites alike
endure early morning hours and chat late into the
night with steaming mugs of coffee.
Bold or subtle. Mild or robust. Black, with
sugar, decaffeinated or with soy milk, most
University students quickly learn to order up the
blend of brew that best helps them jumpstart their
By selecting the University, java lovers have
happened upon the right town to cultivate their
taste for coffee. Among the industries Ann Arbor
supports, one booming business finds its fortune in
beans - coffee beans, to be exact. Of all strains,
shapes and flavors.
"I drink coffee to wake me up in the morning,
and because it tastes good," said Joe Angelelli, a
doctoral student conducting research at the
University. "Cafes are a good place to read the
paper, enjoy a leisurely pace, and they're great for
people watching."
"Coffee keeps me awake," said LSA student
Greg Shill. "It's a resuscitation thing. I go to cafes,
like, every day. I enjoy the intellectual atmosphere.
Some of the discussions about literature and phi-
losophy are fun to listen in on. Plus, they have
Area businesses are quick to catch on to stu-
dents' growing affection for a place to relax and a
good cup of joe. Coffee houses pepper campus's
South and North University Avenues, Main and
State Streets, sometimes lining the streets side by
Several shops - Espresso Royale Caffe,
.Amer's, Cava Java and Gratzi, to name a few -
~have enjoyed such success at their campus loca-
.tons that they have been able to open second or
third shops that cater to the Ann Arbor community
at large.
Why do the businesses enjoy such popularity?
-Peter Rienhart, a manager at Sweetwaters Cafe,
attributed success to Ann Arbor's "diversity of peo-
ple looking for some kind of social interaction, or
a quiet place to study."
Rienhart says cafe conversation appeals to those
who seek an alternative to the bar scene or more
expensive outings.
"Not everybody wants to go to a bar or spend
$30 per plate for dinner and drinks," Rieser said.
"Sometimes they just want to talk -- with a friend,
classmate, or someone they just met."
Kelley Long, manager at Espresso Royale,
agrees. "It's a good place to hang out, especially
for those who aren't 21, who can't go to a bar."

Campus-area shopsO
cater every interest:

By Anna Kovalszki
Daily Arts Writer
The University may be a great insti-
tution of higher learning. But aside
from studies, other pertinent questions
linger at the back of an incoming stu-
dent's mind.
One question might sound like this:
"Where will I find the right clothes,
shoes and dorm-room decorations?"
Don't lose any sleep. Your new
hometown offers plenty of original and
mass-market shopping opportunities,
with some of the best stores within easy
walking distance of campus.
South University Avenue houses a
few blocks of shops, arcades, restau-
rants and coffee houses. The shops in
this area appeal largely to college stu-
dents, in price as well as selection.
Splash sells grunge-type, comfortable
attire, at mid-

Street. Adjacent to Angell Hall and
close to the Modern Languages
Building, State Street's offerings are on
the campus's doorstep.
For a student with cash to spare, SI
Street offers a more monetarily chal-
lenging shopping experience. Two of
the most popular stores along this
stretch are Bivouac and Urban
Bivouac is a camping and outdoor
gear retailer, which also carries
everyday casual clothes. It sells cloth-
ing for both sexes, with an emphasis
on outdoorsy attire, and brand names
like Polo, Patagonia and Cal*
Klein. Both women and men can find
more elegant items as well. Bivouac
offers occasional sales, but their
prices reflect the type of clothing that
they sell, and therefore they are usu-
ally costly.
Think of this
int thisstore as an
upscale. Eddie
alf largely Bauer.
Urb a

range prices.
Typical purchas-
es might include

The shops

Local coffe houses showcase a wide selection of unique and exotic coffee beans. Pictured here are some of the
selections sold at Espresso Royale.

skater shirts or a
long, softly flow-
ing dresses. TO Colleg0
On the other
end of the spec-
trum, YCI offers
trendy selections for women. Steve
Madden shoes and cool runway Materi-
al rule the day, at somewhat hefty
prices. According to one employee, the
owner visits fashion shows for inspira-
A trip to Middle Earth, meanwhile,
is a trip to another dimension. From a
Richard Nixon gargoyle to an exten-
sive T-shirt selection to pricier art
items, Middle Earth is home to many
an afternoon's diversion. When crav-
ing a boxing nun puppet or a Lyndon
Johnson paper-doll book, Middle
Earth is the place to be.
Another eccentric establishment is
the Safe Sex Store, identified on the
outside by its former name, Condoms
101. The store's merchandise ranges
through many levels of maturity, from
gag gifts like penis-sipper bottles to
erection rings and latex barriers for oral
Other establishments are a little less
outlandish. The Earport offers stylish
silver and gold jewelry, along with free
ear piercing. Footprints, part of a chain
of stores, sells pricey brand-name
After perusing the wares at these and
other stores lining South University
Avenue, browse the shops along State



stuldents . Outfitters, along
with selling
many accessories
and decorations,
also sells clothing that could be described
as alternagear. Everything from oversize
pants to swimsuits and underwear cin be
found for both sexes.
If your bank account runneth over
and you're in search of the truly
unique, stroll through Nick
Arcade. Located off State Street,
arcade is home to elite art stores,
antique shops, boutiques and a tobac-
co store. Some items sell at amounts
in the thousands. Oddly enough, the
arcade is also home to a perpetually
crowded post office.
After learning of all of the small
store options, an incoming student may
still not be satisfied. The comforts of
the mall may be missed. Happily, *
Briarwood shopping mall is a short
drive from campus, and houses tradi-
tional department stores like Hudson's
and Sears. For those who wish to stick
to their fashion status quo, the Gap,
Banana Republic and Ann Taylor pro-
vide high-quality merchandise. The
stores of Briarwood also employ a
bounty of University students.
So don't fear. There are plenty of
places in Ann Arbor for a college
dent to spend money, and in these saW
locales, maybe even earn some of this
much-desired commodity.

Long said there is something special about col-
lege students as target group for cafes.
"It's a college thing. Most people don't drink coffee
in high school, but you have to drink coffee to keep up
with college work - to stay awake," she said.
With an impressive collection of businesses duk-
ing it out to serve students' caffeine-craving wake-
up calls, how do cafe owners maintain a competi-
tive edge and differentiate themselves from the
cafe next door?
Many cafes pride themselves on unique environ-
ments. Caribou Coffee on State Street, for exam-
ple, has a distinct, natural-toned decor, including a
fireplace near the back of the shop.
Long said that "atmosphere" is the most impor-
tant variable in differentiation. She discussed

recent renovation projects at Espresso Royale that
aim to make the shops more comfortable and
enjoyable places to visit. "Everyone tries to make
the best coffee drink, but they really use atmos-
Rienhart said details of atmosphere are crucial to
a good coffee-shop experience.
"It's a feel that you get when you walk in - a
combination of staff, service and decor," Rienhart
said. "Service is a very big deal."
However, some people suggested that coffee
drinking is simply a manifestation of students'
affection for trends.
"Students drink coffee out of habit," said one
Rackham student, who asked not to be named. "It
fits the student lifestyle."


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