I doubt I exaggerate when I say that I’ve ordered coffee in 100 different Starbucks stores in my life, spread across 15+ states. I’ve help support new ones, old ones, some in airports, a couple in Target or in grocery stores. I frequent one store weekly and another local store I avoid like Sanka.
Each store is unique, but deciding which one is my favorite is not difficult, it’s the one about one hour east of where I live that we stumbled upon as a family one Sunday afternoon during a sight-seeing drive around the Chesapeake Bay. We drove up into the town of Annapolis, Maryland, the state capitol and home of the Naval Academy. The Starbucks we discovered was in the basement of an old hotel and was first opened in 1784. Lore says Benjamin Franklin once enjoyed a drink there. It was a pub at the time. Later the pub morphed into a jazz club and four years ago it became a Starbucks.
It has undergone a lot of change but the stone walls, stone floors, and the thick lumber in the ceiling holding up a historic hotel above it are all original. It sits just across the street from the state capitol building and the governor’s mansion. An old underground tunnel from the state house empties into the back wall of the basement Starbucks, providing an escape for diplomats. While the back half of the store is no longer used as a safe haven for sprinting politicians, it is a nice and cozy and quiet place to read and write (unless a hobbyhorse lobbyist is trying to make a convincing point to an associate at a nearby table—then you’ll need earbuds).
Converting a historic marker into a Starbucks was not easy and a friend who lived in Annapolis at the time (2005-2006) said it stirred up quite a brewhaha. But I’m glad it was converted and it’s now my favorite place to re-caffeinate.
Here it is on the map and here’s a poor iPhone pic. If you are in the area, you should stop in.
So where is your favorite Starbucks or coffee shop? What makes it great for reading/writing?