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Coffee & Wifi in #TheBay

I’m baffled at how many auto internet connections I’m privy to. I could walk from one side of PE to the other  and connect to at least 17 coffee shops [and about 6 homes]

I’ve claimed the guilt badge of “outstaying-your-coffee” . I know my presence (& subsequent internet usage) has actually cost most of the coffee shops in PE…

A huge SORRY to all the local bistro coffee shop owners, if you’re reading this.

If it helps, I’ve also been in boardroom meetings discussing how value-adds, like wifi, can drive turnover. My guilt at abusing your establishment is heavy laden. It’s also the reason I invite a lot of my friends out to dinners at your establishments. A small way of giving back to you, what I know you’ve lost. A small way of allowing me to sleep better at night.

I’m certainly not the only one who has bought into the huge cultural movement that is “WIFI & COFFEE”, or “CONNECTED & BUZZING”. Its convenient, so why not? There are great things happening through individuals scattered across the face of South Africa, diligently tapping away at a MacBook, or , in my case, a Lenovo.

I thought I’d give more back by talking about my best places. They seem like a very big part of life at the moment. I’ve had great times alone and with loved ones at my best three coffee shops.

Here we go.

  1. Charlies Pizza & Pasta 

Its likely that if I am not at home, I’m here. I spend more time at Charlies than at home and for good reason. They are geared for laptop carrying, coffee-consuming-view seeking plebs like me. With a position on the 2nd floor, they also have a ridiculous view of the sea. A barista who prepares a mean

They are geared for laptop carrying, coffee-consuming-view-seeking plebs like me. With a position on the 2nd floor, they  have a ridiculous view of the sea and most of the NMMU students are there cramming for a final exam or over indulging in Car Park Johns craft beer selection. With an awesome barista who prepares a mean cappuccino and a team that minimises guilt staredowns  – they are my utter favourites.

  1. Urban Espress – Donkin

Newbies on the block, this coffee shop opened towards the end of last year in one of my favourite suburbs in PE, Central. With an eclectic history and a steady revival of entrepreneurship, this area reminds me of Maboneng in Joburg. Its where local vintage bikes are sold, a recording studio lives and people submit tax information.

Central is like a dysfunctional hood that leaves you excited and expectant.

The coffee here is really the focus of the whole show, with a limited menu and a maximised wifi & coffee experience. It feels like you’re in a small wooden box in the middle of a forward-moving concrete jungle.

Im not here as often as Charlies but when Im cranking out anything from 8:00 – 14:30 midweek, its definitely a consideration.

  1. Angelos Cafe – Summerstrand 

I don’t think Angelos has increased its menu price since 2009 but I’m not going to harp on this point. The fact that they have been around since I was in high school suggests they’ve got their business mix right.

With this store being the second one in PE, these guys are very cool and very affordable. There is something warm and minimalistic about their decor but the view in Summerstrand is the clincher.

With this store being the second one in PE, these guys are very cool and very affordable. There is something warm and minimalistic about their decor but the view in Summerstrand is the clincher. Ive been there so many times and just been so happy at the nearness of the sea. Its a few metres away from the sand.

The Summerstrand joggers strip goes right past the restaurant, so there is always some people watching and coffee drinking happening. Its busy but not chaotic and they have a nice size short.

There are others. Friendly Stranger, Cobblestone Bistro & Bakery, Angelos  Cafe Walmer, Vovo Telos, Grass Roof… but the three above offer a special combination of people, price and product that have me abusing their wifi more frequently than the rest.