Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
Tuesday morning: I left my journal at home! Ah! I remembered this while riding the bus, and I’m sure a look of complete terror, horror, and frustration crossed my face. I had a freak out moment. Then, a moment of calm, because I thought, “Hey, I could write on those old papers in my backpack.” The calm only lasted until I remembered that I’d cleaned out those papers the night before. Imagine my fury at myself! I slumped back in the seat, resigned with the thought that I’d have to write the review on napkins.
First Impression: Salvation! For those of you in the Twin Cities, or anywhere besides the Arctic, you’re well aware of the intense heat we’ve been having. Combine that with other variables, and you get a sweaty, tired mess. There are these cute black tables outside on the porch. Inside, the first thing I saw was a giant, overflowing cup. How clever! Overflow Cafe has an overflowing cup! On the giant cup there are many different quotes, such as, “Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” The cup is on a large, round high table with chairs around it. I think it’s my new favorite place.
Appearance/Atmosphere: Aside from the giant cup table, there is a myriad of places to sit. Maybe you want to curl up on an arm-chair in the corner, or gather around the fireplace on a cold snowy night. Maybe you have a big paper due and need a table by an outlet; they have a ton of those. Study at the window bar if that’s what tickles your fancy. Or you could pick my favorite: the loft overlooking the whole place, with 2 arm chairs and 8 separate tables. Whatever kind of coffee drinking location you prefer, they probably have it.
They have a beautiful bar and menu design (hand written on a board). The vibe is studious, and most people are working on computers, but there are still some people hanging out and talking. Most of the customers are college age, because this is located on the U of MN campus, but I’ve still seen quite a few other people as well. Recent grads, parents, grandparents, they’re all here. Tables are simple black and the chairs are clean-cut dark wood. Some places use furniture to add to the personality of their business. If that’s what Overflow is trying to do, then they have a great personality: simple and uncluttered. They’re more interested in who’s sitting at the table than what they’re sitting on. This place is about the coffee and the people.
The ceiling is black and has copper pipes running along it. Walls are tan and an earthy red, with some places of exposed brick. Most of the floor is concrete, with the exception of the loft and fireplace area, which have carpet. Did you catch that? I’ve mentioned the fireplace twice, nonchalantly, when I actually think it’s one of the coolest and most unique aspects of this place.
Thankfully there’s AC here, and the fans keep the air circulating. The walls also have wooden trim partway up. Huge, tall windows line the front and sides, brightening it up with lots of natural light. Another cool thing that I just noticed is the stack of games next to the fireplace. There’s a huge clock on the wall, and a lovely staircase leading up to the loft.
Music: Very quiet and unimportant. Truthfully, I haven’t really noticed it. It’s good background noise. Indie, soft rock.
Service: Really good! There were two people working at the counter when I ordered. The girl took my order at the register, and the guy immediately began making my drink. How efficient! They were really nice and the barista found some computer paper from the back for me to write on. When they weren’t creating drinks, they were cleaning.
Coffee: I ordered an Iced Mocha (16 oz, $4.25). It was made very quickly and I took it to my seat. The drink was in a plastic coffee cup with a bendy straw. Yum! Their menu had a lot of choices and I’m excited to try them. They also have other drinks, breakfast food, and daily specials.
Bathroom: Whoa, they have a crazy, futuristic sink. Seriously, it’s worth checking out. Other than that, the bathroom was nice and clean!
Notes: This is a charming place, right on campus. I’ll be coming back! I like that they have two sets of doors at the entrance. That way people aren’t bringing the weather directly inside. Also, the 16 bus drives right by here!